Virtual Balloon Race

On 14 April 2021, 532 colourful balloons took to the virtual skies in Harrogate Brigantes Rotary’s first virtual balloon race. A week later the winning balloon, named Emily, won the race. It had covered 2023 virtual kilometres. In hot pursuit was a balloon named Bookworm which finished just 21 kilometres behind. During that week balloon “owners” had been able to follow the ups and downs of the race on their computers, tablets and phones as first one balloon and then another took the lead and early front runners were becalmed and fell back into the pack.

Through the power of social media the “owners” of these balloons came not just from Harrogate and its surrounds but from as far away as South Africa and Australia!  So perhaps it should be no surprise to learn that the winning “owners” came not only from Harrogate and Hampsthwaite in North Yorkshire but also from London, Speldhurst near Tunbridge Wells, Winchester and Spain! These lucky winners shared between them some excellent prizes all of which had been donated by well-wishers: a Bettys’ hamper, a family tea at Rudding Park Hotel, a visit to Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s headquarters at Nostell Priory Wakefield, an alcoholic hamper, a bottle of malt whisky, and a selection of wines.

The race was organised to raise funds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Supporting Older People. The proceeds of £1000 have been shared equally between these two local charities, both of which are in need of additional support because of the impact of the Covid crisis on their work and their income-generating abilities.

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