A British pilot has recently won the latest edition of the hot air balloon world championships.
The competition took place in Groß Siegharts in Austria between August 18 and 25, and saw pilots compete over 31 different challenges. Dominic Bareford took the title after fending off competition from pilots from all over the world, including Lithuania, Spain, France, Belgium, the USA, Germany and Japan.
Bareford, 23, was joined on the podium by runner-up Stefan Zeberli from Switzerland and bronze medallist Sergey Latypov of Russia. Reigning British champion Bareford managed to improve on his sixth place finish in the previous world championships, which took place in Japan two years ago.
The event attracted thousands of eager spectators, who watched 150 different teams mount a challenge for the title, representing 38 different countries. There was also a night glow event involving 40 balloons on the penultimate day of the championship, as well as live music and entertainment throughout the seven day event.
Not everyone views hot air ballooning as a competitive sport. Many view it as a spectacular way of seeing the world from a different perspective in a relaxed manner, which is one reason why they book their own hot air balloon flights in Bath, Bristol and other locations all around the UK.
The FAI Hot Air Balloon World Championships take place on a biannual basis, with the 24th edition of the competition set to take place in Slovenia in September 2020.