Anyone who visited Chambley in France on 31st July could not have failed to notice something unusual in the skies above them – because hundreds of hot air balloons were released, making for spectacular views.
The skies above Chambley were a mass of swirling, soaring colours as hundreds of hot air balloons launched from a former Nato base in an attempt to break the world record for the most hot air balloons in the sky at any one time, in one place.
More than 400 balloons were launched to surpass the previous record – which was also set at the Lorraine Mondial International Hot Air Balloon Festival just days before, when 343 balloons were successfully launched into the French skies.
Hot air balloon pilots and enthusiasts from all over the world travel to the festival, which takes place at the Chambley-Bussieres Aerodrome each year. Masses of hot air balloons are always a big part of the 10 day celebrations.
It is estimated that more than 350,000 people attended the event this year and, despite the weather, which was extremely unpredictable, fewer than 50% of the scheduled hot air balloon flights had to be cancelled.
Phillippe Buron Pilatre, who founded the balloon festival, talked about his pleasure at breaking two records this year. However, he was also annoyed that around 20 pilots had ignored official rules by landing on farmers’ land. Despite this minor niggle, the hot air balloon festival was a big success, with more than 1,200 pilots and 938 balloons taking part in the festivities.