Pete Lehmann's Talon Distance-to-Declared-Goal Record is Official
From the FAI website:
Sub-class O-1 (HG with a rigid primary structure / controlled by weight shift)
Category : General
Straight distance to a declared goal : 517.23 km (321.4 miles)
Date of flight: 20/06/2002 (June 20, 2002)
Pilot: Lawrence "Pete" LEHMANN (USA)
Course/place: Zapata, TX (USA) - Big Lake, TX (USA)
Hang glider: Wills Wing Talon 150
ratified on 22/04/2003 | Database ID 7388
Here is Pete's short account of his long flight:
Hi Wills Wing,
You will be happy to hear that once again one of your company's gliders, a Talon 150 in this instance, has been used to attain a hang gliding world record. On June 20 I flew 321 miles northwestward from Zapata, Texas to the declared goal airport at Big Lake, Texas. The flight took a bit under nine hours flying flying in 400-800fpm lift to heights that ranged from 3,500msl early to 9,200msl at the end of the flight.
The flight began shortly after ten am when I was aero-towed up to one of the bizarre low altitude cloud streets that form around here early in the morning. After a bit of crosswind flying to get around Laredo's airspace the flight became initially straightforward. Cloud base went up to 6,000agl and the clouds lined up well. However I soon realized that the streets were lining up about 10 degrees south of my desired course line to Big Lake. That meant that I had to jump cloud streets towards the north, and the first two times I did so I wound up low and in trouble over truly inhospitable mesquite wastelands. And on both occasions my scratching, drifting saves again put me well off the course line. It was only once I got to about the 250 mile point around five o'clock that a fortuitously north-south oriented street of lovely high (9,000msl/6,500agl) clouds allowed me to drive ten miles crosswind to the north and back onto course. After that it was easy and I arrived at Big Lake high at ten past seven in the evening. Mike Barber, with whom I had left from Zapata, had beaten me to the goal by half an hour and chose to continue on. I knew that, unlike Mike, I was too late to beat Ruhmer's absolute record and happily landed at Big Lake. Ten minutes later my spectacular driver Andrew Holupka pulled in to feed me beer.
It was one helluva good day, and thank you all for building the glider that made it possible.