Balloon wows north of the border

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Image: Stanley Cooper

The August bank holiday weekend saw the Group First Hot Air Balloon team head north to the small South Lanarkshire town of Strathaven for Scotland’s only hot air balloon festival.

The event’s organisers worked hard all year round to obtain enough sponsorship from local businesses to welcome 19 balloon teams into town for a spectacular weekend of flying, tethering and nightglow.

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Image: William Stuart

Unfortunately, the weather gods weren’t on the team’s side as they had been at the event for the past couple of years.

Wind and rain damped the spirits of the balloon teams and the visiting locals, meaning no flying on Saturday.

The good news was, Saturday’s nightglow was met with perfect conditions as a band of rain due to hit the site passed by out to the west of the town.

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Image: William Stuart

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The event saw one of the Group First balloon team complete his first ever nightglow. Pilot Under Training Charlie joined up with seven of the other balloons to entertain crowds with a beautiful display set to a backdrop of upbeat music to rouse the crowds.

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Sunday morning saw the Group First balloon team wake up to much more favourable conditions and the morning’s flight was called “on” by the Meet Director.

Pilot Richard and PUT Charlie joined eight other balloons to take off heading over the town towards Larkhall. Charlie flew for most of the flight undertaking his first landing on his own – excellent work and a great weekend of ballooning for our PUT.

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Although the team only managed one flight over the weekend, a great weekend was had by all at this fantastic festival.