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Mass balloon flight across the Solent
8:40am Sunday 22nd September 2013 in News
A FLEET of hot air balloons is expected to float across the Hampshire skyline as part of a new event next spring.
The Snows Isle of Wight Balloon Challenge 2014 will see up to 20 hot air balloons flying from Exbury Club in the New Forest to the Isle of Wight.
The last time that many balloons were seen in Hampshire was at the final Southampton Balloon and Flower Festival in 2004.
The event is being organised by Romsey-based firm Digital 21st Event and Hot Air Balloon Services, and it will be sponsored by Snows Peugeot dealership in Romsey.
Richard Cardy, operations manager of Digital 21st, said: “We ran an event at Mountbatten School here in Romsey in both 2012 and 2013 and this year one of the pilots wanted to know if they could get to the Island from there.”
A test flight from Exbury proved the Solent crossing was feasible.
Richard has drawn on experts to help in the venture, including Guildford- based pilot Ian Sharpe, who co-organised the record- breaking Channel crossing in 2011, which saw 51 balloons fly from Kent to France.
He added: “This is our biggest project to date and most ambitious and I am looking forward to seeing balloons filling the skies across the Solent next spring.”
There is no set date on when the event will take place, due to the unpredictability of the weather on flying conditions, but organisers are looking at a slot between March 22 next year and May 2.
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