Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 2011 Review
The 2011 fiesta started with a press launch this year taking place at College Green on the Wednesday before the fiesta. The balloons that were at the press launch were: The one show (G-CDIT) piloted by Bailey Balloons, Visit Bristol (G-CBHW), David Hathaway (G-BZFD), University of Bristol (G-CDWD), Jaguar (G-BWPZ), Fishtank (G-CDDN, Flying Enterprises), G-BOOB, Snow Business (G-SBIZ) and the 2011 title sponsors CTS (G-OCTS). Meanwhile Don Cameron inflated and tethered the Bristol Belle (G-AVTL) alongside a few model balloons.
The official start to 2011 was meant to be the special shapes launch, but horrible windy and wet conditions obviously meant it could not go ahead. There were some round balloons that tethered though, including: Jaguar (G-BWPZ), Co-operative (G-CFSL), Palletways (G-WAYS) and CTS (G-OCTS). These tethered for the press and eventually the Panasonic Battery (G-OKCP) and Exclusive Ballooning's Blue Square Betting (G-CFXI) also joined in with the tether.
^ Pictures: JEM Ballooning ^
Despite the disappointment of the weather in the afternoon, the night glow was still fantastic as over 20 balloons inflated and glowed in time to music. There was still rain in the air, but it was still a great show.
Friday morning came and at first there was very low cloud, so it was decided it would be delayed for a while as it was meant to shift mid morning. Lindstrand tethered the Palletways Dragon (G-PLLT) and George White Superbike (G-CGJV) alongside the Airship & balloon Company's Churchill (G-CDOG) and round balloon G-BYHU. Blue Square (G-CFXI) also tethered with roughly 5 other round balloons and the Panasonic Battery (G-OKCP). The low could did disappear as predicted, but it was still noticeable as the balloons lifted into the sky. After the long wait, the launch was called on and the balloons started lifting into the sky. The special shapes that launched were the Palletways Dragon (G-PLLT), Panasonic Battery (G-OKCP) and Blue Square (G-CFXI). George White (G-CGJV) and Churchill (G-CDOG) tethered throughout the launch. In total 63 balloons took off from what looked like a doubtful launch at the start.
The Friday evening launch saw about 100 balloons launch and fly over Bristol! The Palletways Dragon (G-PLLT), Blue Square (G-CFXI), Panasonic Battery (G-OKCP) and Cockerel (F-GOCO) all flew across the city. This was F-GOCO's first appearance at the 2011 fiesta. Once again Churchill (G-CDOG) tethered throughout the whole evening ascent.
Saturday evening was basically the same as the Friday evening launch, with the same 4 shapes flying. Blue Square took off right at the very start.
After the balloons had lifted, preparations for the second night glow had began. The Jaguar Car (G-OXKB) tethered and waited for it to get dark. G-OXKB took centre stage at the night glow and about 20 round balloons joined the classic Bristol shape.
On Sunday morning 96 balloons lifted into the sky. The special shapes that ascended were the Palletways Dragon (G-PLLT), Blue Square (G-CFXI) and the Cockerel (F-GOCO).
Sunday AM was last launch of the Bristol balloon Fiesta 2011 as Sunday PM was called off due to gusty winds. Jaguar (G-BWPZ) and Silverline (G-CEUV) tethered in the more sheltered part of the arena, but still got absolutely battered by the wind. Lindstrand tried to inflate the Palletways round balloon (G-WAYS), but gave up due to the challenging conditions. The 2011 fiesta was a success, with lots of balloons filling the skies of Bristol once again!