The bank holiday weekend at the end of May had come around again, and it could only mean one thing... Bath Balloon Meet weekend! A series of local flyouts around Bath were planned from Friday 26th to Monday 29th and following a successful 2022 launch in our Joycam Lips special shape, this year we decided to go even bigger...
On Friday evening, the first potential flight, briefing was called on for 18:30 in Royal Victoria Park, 'RVP' to balloonists. However, the forecast was correct and winds proved too strong to fly.
Saturday morning saw a breezy launch take place from Hinton Charterhouse with the following balloons attending: Able Scaffolding, B&A Group, G-BWEE, Ben's Tiles, Prestige Grounds, Snow Business, Bristol Blue and CJ Hole.
Anticipation was building up to the main event and last remaining chance to fly that weekend, from the prestigious Royal Crescent in Bath. We were planning a launch in our Lindstrand special shape Slick the Dragon and weather was looking good! A Twitter poll decided the balloon for us...
Our team got everything ready in plenty of time, lifted the 320kg balloon (yes, 320kg) into the van along with the basket, burner, cylinders and other kit, and set off for Bath with high hopes of an evening launch. We arrived in RVP along with plenty of other balloon teams ready for the 18:15 briefing. Conditions were excellent for flying with a light northerly wind and gusts forecast to drop out, taking balloons in the direction of Timsbury.
Able Scaffolding and Snow Business decided to stay in RVP with commercial rides operator Virgin Balloon Flights whilst everyone else would fly from the Royal Crescent. Little did everyone sat on the grass, enjoying their Saturday night in the sun, know they'd be disturbed by a giant 120,000 cu ft dragon; but they didn't seem to mind too much!
We took off to a huge cheer with me in the basket alongside Liam, co-owner Chris and pilot Bradley - people really do love Slick! Well, how can you not?! It was a memorable 25 minute flight to Englishcombe flying in this balloon that I loved so much as a child at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta; I still can't quite believe he's ours.
Thanks so much to our team that day for making it happen - Bradley, Dan, Mark, Liam and Kirstie.
The launch also saw The Hot Air Balloon Company's A-210 G-JHNY take to the air alongside Bailey Exclusive's brand new Royal Crescent Hotel Z-105 G-CMLR on its maiden voyage.
A massive thank you to Rob Clements, pilot of the B&A Group balloon, for organising and getting special permission granted from the council for use of the Royal Crescent lawn. It was a very special evening. Same time next year?
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