Gliding record falls to Fossett

Steve Fossett takes to the air once again

Thursday December 12th 2002, Author: Stuart Radnovsky, Location: United States
Pilots Terry Delore (NZ) and Steve Fossett (USA) today set a new Gliding World Speed Record for 1000 kilometers Out and Return. Despite difficult wind and cloud conditions, the duo flew the 1000 kilometer course at an average speed of 166.46 km/h (103.44 mph), breaking the previous record of 152.74 km/h (94.91 mph) set by Walter Binder (GER) in South Africa in 1999.

Flying a Schleicher ASH-25 (25 meter wingspan) high-performance sailplane, this was Delore and Fossett's third attempt at this record over recent weeks - with one of those attempts coming up short just the previous day.

"This only made us more determined to succeed", Fossett explained late Thursday evening. "We're wrapping up our glider season this weekend, so today was a big day. It is great to get another one of only nine open speed records in gliding".

On 15 November the team of Fossett and Delore smashed the 500 kilometer triangle record in 2 hours and 44 minutes - setting a new World Record speed of 185.63 km/h (115 mph). (Records pending confirmation by the FAI - Fédération Aéronautique Internationale)

2002 has been an extraordinarily special - and rapid - year for Fossett. The American adventurer has set new World Records for speed in 3 sports - gliding, sailing and ballooning including, of course, his renowned 'First Solo Round the World Balloon Flight' in June-July.

Steve's next flying plans are an attempt on the Glider World Altitude Record of 49,009 ft - soaring into the Stratosphere - in California in February or March 2003.

In addition to gliding, Steve's forthcoming projects include the Christopher Columbus Route E-W TransAtlantic sailing record on board his 125' (38m) maxi-catamaran - also planned for early 2003.

Steve Fossett's record-setting adventures and challenges are supported by Michelob ULTRA, the new low-carbohydrate beer from Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest brewer.

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