One month: Northam residents will be looking to the skies during August and September.ALL eyes will be skywards in Northam in amonth’s time when the National BallooningChampionships are contested in the AvonValley town from August 28 to September 6.
It has been 31 years since Northam hostedthe championships so locals are preparing fora huge party withplenty of balloons.
The town previously hosted the competitionin 1984 and 1981.
Organising committee chairman GrenPutland said balloon pilots from China, Japan,Russia, the UK andacross Australia will competeover five days.
“The championships are all about testingthe skills of pilots at varying winds and altitudesrather than speed, in a variety of differentchallenges,” Mr Putland said.
“Northam is WA’s home of hot air ballooningand to see up to 30 balloons in the skieshere over the course of the event will be anincredible treat for spectators and ballooningenthusiasts.”
Competitors include the currentWomen’s World Hot Air Balloon ChampionNicola Scaife (NSW), five-time Australianchampion Paul Gibbs (NSW) and 2014Australian Champion Matthew Scaife (NSW).
The three West Australians competing inthe championships are brothers Andrew,Michael and PeterClements.
Organisers anticipate two flights per day atdawn and in the late afternoon, weather permitting.
The competition area extends over 40 kilometresnorth to south, and 30km east to westof Northam with a variation of launch locationsdepending on weather conditions.
People planning a trip to Northam to enjoythe spectacle are encouraged to visit the eventwebsite the nightbefore for the latest information.
The championship will take place over fivedays with practice flights on August 29 and30, and thechampionships running fromAugust 31 to September 4, with a reserve dayand the exciting Key Grab atfirst light onSeptember 5.
Non-competitive flying is likely to takeplace on September 6.
The Key Grab is a highly skilled challengewhere pilots have to literally grab a foam keymounted on top of a10m pole.
The key represents the key to a prize.
Pilots select a take off point that will allowthem to fly a minimum distance to reach thetarget.
This will take place over the NorthamAirfield and will be a highlight for spectators.
A number of community events includingexhibitions, expos and performances are beingheld around the championships, making it afantastic time to visit Northam and the AvonValley.
Highlights include the Balloon Glow andFiesta official launch August 29, the NorthamFiesta and Northam Small Farm and BusinessExpo on August29-30, the Northam Art Prizeand the History of Ballooning display.
The Northam Aero Club is hosting theNational Ballooning Championships, which isalso actively supported by Shire of Northam,Tourism Western Australia through Royaltiesfor Regions funding, Northam Chamber ofCommerce, ABF, Windward BalloonAdventures, Avon Community DevelopmentFoundation, Kavanagh Balloons, Santos,Kleenheat Gas, Country Builders WA, the BigPicture Factory, HotFM, and DowerinRefrigeration and Air Conditioning Services.
For more information go to梧桐夜网northamnationals南京夜网, email [email protected]南京夜网 or check out the eventon Facebook at 梧桐夜网facebook南京夜网/ northamnationals.
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