Imagine floating in the sky at an altitude of 2,000 metres and drifting for 200 kilometres with only the wind and a couple of thermal updrafts to keeping you up. Cathay Pacific pilot Nick Jaffe did this, achieving a feat that has put him in an elite class of paragliders who have soared a distance of 200km or more in one of the world's fastest growing sports. 'That's what I do for fun,' said the 32-year-old, whose cross-country journey on an engine-less paraglider took place in New South Wales in January for an official Hong Kong record. 'I was very lucky to have got the conditions that I had. Conditions were almost perfect. I had to keep finding thermals. I would say that I found between 15-20 thermals during my journey.' Jaffe was not using a high-performance type of glider that is usually associated with world records, but a new-generation glider suitable for beginners and recreational pilots. That's why his feat is considered amazing. 'My goal was just 100km. That day everything went my way. To be honest, I was not out to break records. I just like flying and it was an amazing experience,' said Jaffe, whose adventure lasted just under seven hours. Jaffe is enjoying a second tilt at his favourite sport having been forced to put paragliding aside when he had to concentrate on getting his commercial airline licence. He set his record after launching off Mount Borah in Manilla, Australia - the hill owned by world record holder Godfrey Wenness - at an attitude of 800 metres. He landed near a small town called Yetman after successfully locating and making use of numerous thermals during his trip in order to maintain height. Total journey: 201km. 'I could have gone a farther 20km. I flew off the end of my map and wasn't in radio contact with anyone. I was following a dirt road, but knew if I didn't land near a phone, I'd never see a vehicle on the road. That's why I diverted almost 90 degrees when I spotted Yetman [a small town]. 'I landed near the little town. I managed to pack away my paraglider in about 10 minutes. You can imagine the surprised look on all the faces of the regulars when I walked into a pub and asked where I was.' Wenness' world record stands at 335km, although he lives at the site, which is ideal for breaking records. The Japanese record is held by Masato Sogabe at 264km. It costs about HK$25,000 to buy a paraglider, which weighs around seven kilograms,' said Jaffe. 'It's [the paraglider] very portable and no problem to carry. Together with a couple bottles of water and a reserve parachute, the whole kit only weighs around 23kg in total. 'It folds away in a large rucksack. Paragliding is very comparable to say, mountain biking, price-wise. You don't need a civil aviation pilot's licence. The local Paragliding Association self regulates [the rules] and you only need a paragliding licence to fly. Paragliding is easy to fly but hard to master. You learn in every flight and that's why I always go out to practise. I do this in six different sites in Hong Kong like Dragon's Back in Shek O.' Born in Washington DC to British parents, Jaffe is the youngest of four children. He developed a love for aircraft and flying in his youth, covering his bedroom room with pictures of planes and stacking his shelves with books on flying. When he had the opportunity, young Jaffe would attend airshows and museums as his fascination for flying grew. Jaffe attended Southampton University to study electrical engineering, but it was there he discovered the sport of hang-gliding on the Isle of Wight. Flying became his passion and his dreams of becoming an engineer faded. 'When I no longer had free access to the university gliders I did a weekend paragliding conversion course but I moved to Atlanta in America to get my commercial pilot's licence. 'With little paragliding in the area, I was out of the sport for six years. 'In 1997 I got a job with Cathay Pacific Airways and moved to Hong Kong to start work. When I found out there was flying here I soon got back into it all,' he said. While Jaffe is not flying commercial 777s for Cathay Pacific, he can be found paragliding around Hong Kong doing what he does best. You can say it's an uplifting experience for him.