The hot air ballooning region of the Tegernsee Valley once again played host to a hot air ballooning championship this month, which saw 25 of the best hot air balloon pilots in Germany competing in a range of challenges over a five-day period.
Tegernsee is the natural setting for this spectacular event, as it plays host each year to a hot air balloon festival in spring. The fiesta sees balloons from all over the world take to the skies over the stunning vistas of the mountainous valley. This time around, for the competition, balloonists competed against each other in a range of challenging tasks.
One of these challenges is called the Fly In. Balloonists compete to drop a sandbag onto a spot on the ground, aiming to get as close to it as possible. In order to succeed, pilots must exercise great skill and have to judge their height and speed carefully to get the momentum for their Fly In attempt spot on.
Competitive hot air ballooning is a sport like any other, with pilots training for years to perfect their navigation skills. As with other competitive sports, the difference between winning and losing can come down to just a few centimetres. The quality of the materials used to make the hot air balloon and the agility and aptitude of the pilot can make all the difference.
To experience the thrill of hot air ballooning at a more leisurely pace, people can take part in hot air balloon adventures in Bath, Bristol and other areas of the south west.