MOL

South Island, NZ

A paramedic and pilates instructor has set a new record for the highest static trapeze act, while suspended mid-air from underneath a hot air balloon.

Anna Cochrane attempted at an altitude between 10,400 and 11,400 ft and lasted for more than five minutes. The previous highest static trapeze world record to beat was 2,171ft.

Suspended in the sky above Ashburton, on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Ms Cochrane dislocated her rib after about a minute, but persevered to complete the routine.

There were 11 people on board the balloon during the attempt including Anna, a camera crew, the pilot, two witnesses for the record, a safety rigger and three other skydivers.

To be accepted as a Guinness World Records title, Ms Cochrane had to have a specialist witness and an independent witness on board.

The record evidence has been submitted, but the process can take up to two weeks to be assessed and verified. When she finally reached the ground, Ms Cochraine said she was sore but the adrenaline was still pumping. ‘I’m really proud of how all the team of experts came together, it’s still unbelievable that it actually happened,’ she said.

‘A little part of me thought that this was all too big and it couldn’t happen but the whole thing went so smoothly, I am lucky to have had the perfect people involved to help me achieve it.’

Ms Cochrane told Daily Mail Australia she has been training in circus aerials for about seven years, but took up the trapeze specifically for the event about a year ago.

‘My previous training meant I already had the strength and fitness to do trapeze and it was just about creating a routine that I felt I could perform at that height, keeping in mind I would be wearing a harness and working around a lanyard that attached me to the trapeze,’ she said.

‘I would try do do something every day that would help me achieve my goal. ‘That could be anything from a session at the gym, a session on the trapeze or a stretch session - I would normally train for around two hours at a time.

‘Compared to other circus aerial apparatuses, I have found the trapeze has been the most challenging to learn.

‘You are essentially bending yourself around a steel bar so I’ve basically been covered in bruises and hands full of rips and calluses for the past year!’ Ms Cochrane had hoped to top off her experience by sky diving from the balloon afterwards, but her injury prevented her.

Her support crew from Sky Diving Kiwis continued with the plan and jumped from the hot air balloon over Ashburton. The attempt has so far raised more than $1700 for Big Brothers Big Sisters, a child mentoring program.