Richard Parry, a Chalford local, came out victorious when he took part in the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta’s much loved long distance hot air balloon race.
Parry’s balloon took the trophy for the long distance event this August as he flew to victory, aided by his wife Jo, who was acting as his chief of crew. It was Parry’s fifth win at the event.
Observers said he soared effortlessly to victory, despite the fact that he was up against 100 experienced hot air balloon teams, all of which were eager to get their hands on the Bristol Evening Post trophy themselves.
The trophy is awarded each year to the hot air balloon pilot who is able to travel the longest distance on nothing more than the gas which is carried in their vessel upon take-off.
Speaking about his victory, Parry said:
“I managed to fly 84km and landed in Upton just past Hungerford in West Berkshire. It was a very scenic flight with some low clouds over Bath and then a lovely flight along the Vale of Pewsey, following the Kennet and Avon canal.”
Parry has been an avid lover of hot air ballooning for the past quarter of a century – ever since he had his first taste of hot air ballooning in Hong Kong.
As well as taking the trophy for the long distance event this year, Parry also took 16th place in the Word Hot Air Balloon Championships 2012 and is set to take part in the British National Hot Air Balloon Championship in France.