Paraglider’s charity challenge

Matt Stanford during his Cook Strait glide

Matt Stanford during his Cook Strait glide - Credit: supplied

A PARAGLIDING enthusiast from Nailsea has become the first person to glide between New Zealand’s north and south islands.

Matt Stanford

Matt Stanford - Credit: supplied

Matt Stanford took on the challenge of crossing the Cook Strait to raise money for World Vision. The 29-year-old learnt to fly paragliders in 2009, and has since become national champion twice in different classes in New Zealand, where he is currently living.

A former Nailsea School pupil, Matt subsequently qualified as a teacher and taught at Wrington Primary School before travelling to teach in a Himalayan Leprosy hospital and fly the Himalayan mountain range.

Matt spent 13 months preparing to take on the 30km Cook Strait challenge, which he completed on March 2 by jumping from a helicopter hovering at 13,000ft.

He said: “I wanted to cross Cook Strait as it had never been done before despite a few attempts.


You may also want to watch:


“When we fly our goal is often to cover distance, we call this flying cross country.

“To fly between the islands could be considered the ultimate cross country - a paraglider has no engine and doesnt perform that well on long open glides, especially not over open water and rough seas.”

Most Read

By completing the challenge, Matt hopes to raise much-needed funds for World Vision to support the work it carries out with impoverished children.

To sponsor Matt visit www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/cookstrait

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus