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Tuesday, 15 October, 2002, 17:25 GMT 18:25 UK
Hang-gliders break world record
The glider takes off
Six attempts had to be aborted because of weather
A Derbyshire woman has set a world hang-gliding record after attempts spanning 18 months.

Judy Leden set the new record by being the first person to pilot a tandem hang-glider being towed by a microlight at over 11,000 feet.

Her partner for the flight was Blue Peter presenter Matt Baker.

The attempt had been delayed by bad weather, foot and mouth and waiting for the television cameras.

Judy Leden and Matt Baker
Celebrating a world record

Ms Leden already holds a number of hang-gliding world records.

The latest successful attempt was made in Wiltshire near the factory which produces the specialist microlight used to tow the hang-glider.

She said: "It was extremely cold and very hard work. Matt and I took it in turns to keep the hang-glider in the right position, climbing at the same rate as the microlight."

One of the main causes of delay was waiting for a day with perfect weather conditions.

Ms Leden said: "The weather is essential. In fact we had six attempts aborted because of the weather.

"Not only must it be clear at 11,000 ft, the winds have to be very light as the hang-glider flies slowly and is vulnerable to wind."

Weather interruptions

The area they wished to fly from was closed for months because of the foot and mouth crisis.

Even when the countryside was opened again the team had to wait for the Blue Peter presenter to be available.

Ms Leden said: "Matt is very busy of course and was only available two or so days a month.

"That and the weather meant it took 18 months to get everything ready."


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