Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Four Days Of Perfection

Four Days Of Perfection

The Trust House Balloons Over Wairarapa wound up on Sunday after four days of uninterrupted flying and crowd-pleasing spectacles by the cream of New Zealand ballooning culminated in one of the most successful balloon festivals held over the past 15 years in the Wairarapa.

Thousands of spectators lined Masterton’s Henley Lake to see lifeless fabric unfurl and dance over the expanse of the water, while thousands more enjoyed the festival’s highlight event, the Nightglow, where balloons lit up like multi-coloured light bulbs to music.

New challenges for the competition included the Resene skittles and a newspaper delivery challenges to the delight of the crowds. The pilots showcased their skills to maneuver their balloons using the varying wind directions to reach their competition targets before drifting over Masterton backyards and Wairarapa countryside

A highlight for all balloonists, both young and old, was the involvement of pioneering balloon pilot Wing Commander Roly Parsons.

It was the 72-year-old's first appearance at a major New Zealand ballooning festival.

Roly etched his name in ballooning history in the mid 1970s when he became the first to fly over Cook Strait only to repeat a series of more firsts by piloting a balloon directly over the top of Mt Cook and then crossing the Southern Alps. It’s been fifteen years since he last set foot in a balloon.

He enjoyed two flights with pilots keen to draw on his knowledge and later reflected that it felt almost like yesterday since he had been back in his own balloon conquering great heights.

“It is the most exciting thing I have done in a long time. I loved it. I just loved it. It really does seem like just yesterday that I was out there testing myself in my little balloon.”

“The Wairarapa, along with Canterbury are the major centre’s for the future of ballooning," he said.

Even after 15 years, no one had tired of Balloons Over Wairarapa, said event organiser Jonathan Hooker. “With an event that is 100 per cent dependent on the weather, this has been an outstanding four days. What an incredible spectacle in excellent flying conditions and the best flying and support we have had in many years.

The event feeds off the goodwill of our pilots and our sponsors and the people of the Wairarapa – it allows this event to be the success that it is.”

‘Balloon meister’ Martyn Stacey of Christchurch echoed the sentiment and said the response to the festival by pilots and the public had been amazing.

“We understand that there is a drought but from the pilot’s point of view, these have been perfect flying conditions which allowed for a lot more elements to each competition task which pushed the pilots to use their skill sets to the best of their abilities.”

“The Wairarapa remains one of the best places to fly in NZ with the perfect combination of great people and a great flying area. Balloonists love coming here and these past four days just added further proof to that.”

The ballooning competition winner was Scott Cursons of Wellington, with runner up going to the event’s youngest pilot Nicholas Oakley, 19, of Christchurch and Howard Watson of Wellington took third place.


Click for big version.


Click for big version.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Carrie Fisher: Hollywood In-Breeding & The Velocity Of Being - Binoy Kampmark

There was always going to be a good deal of thick drama around Carrie Fisher, by her own confession, a product of Hollywood in-breeding. Her parents, Debbie Reynolds and the crooner Eddie Fisher, provided ample material for the gossip columns in a marriage breakup after Eddie sped away with Elizabeth Taylor. More>>

  • Image: Tracey Nearmy / EPA
  • Gordon Campbell: On The Best Albums Of 2016

    OK, I’m not even going to try and rationalise this surrender to a ‘best of’ listicle. Still…maybe there is an argument for making some semblance of narrative order out of a year that brought us Trump, Brexit and the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Alan Vega, who I missed just as much as the Big Three. So without further ado….oh, but first a word from the sponsor More>>

    Emojis: World’s First Māori Emoji App Launched

    It’s here - the world’s first Māori emoji app Emotiki has landed just in time for summer roadtrips and santa stockings, with 200 Māori and Kiwi cultural icons for people to share their kiwiana moments with each other and the world. More>>

    ALSO:

    Howard Davis: Album Of The Year - Van Morrison's 'Keep Me Singing'

    2016 was a grand year for Van The Man - The Belfast Cowboy turned 71, received a knighthood, and reissued an expanded set of soul-fired live recordings from 1973 ('It's Too Late to Stop Now'). In the game for 53 years now, Morrison's albums consistently open new windows into the heart and soul of one of the most enigmatic figures in modern music. More>>

    Review: The NZSO Performs Handel's Messiah

    Max Rashbrooke: Saturday night's performance took the piece back to something like the way it would have originally been performed when premiered in 1742, with an orchestra of 20-30 players and only a few more singers. More>>

    Culture: Rare Hundertwasser Conservation Posters Found After 40 Years

    When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Culture
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news