Sky’s the limit as balloon race contestants compete for £100
THE sky’s the limit for one lucky winner with a £100 prize up for grabs from a very 21st century race.
The Virtual Balloon Race, being organised by the fundraising team at East Cheshire Hospice, is a modern twist on a traditional balloon race and is attracting lots of interest, with more than 350 balloons about to be launched next week.
However, these balloons will exist only online – within a software programme that uses real weather data and Google maps for real-time flight path tracking, testing the balloon calculations to see which flies the furthest.
The top prize of £100 worth of family vouchers will go to the person with the balloon which travels the furthest when the race finishes on the afternoon of April 3. The prize bundle includes a Tatton Park voucher, a £50 Next voucher, a family portrait and more.
There’s also a £50 Next voucher awaiting the second prize winner and a free family skate at Mac Multi Activity Centre for the balloon coming in third.
Balloons are still available to buy online for just £3 and it’s the personalised choices which will inform the computer calculations – bigger balloons may fly further but could explode, while thinner balloons may fly higher but may be subject to wind conditions.
The balloon ‘launch’ takes place next Monday, March 27, at 3pm, with a computer calculating the winning balloons that fly the furthest depending on tracking information from 8,000 weather stations around the world.
“The idea of a ‘virtual’ balloon race seems to have caught everyone’s attention and we’ve had a fantastic response,” said community fundraiser, Lisa Ball.
“Maybe it’s because this race is so ecofriendly. Traditional balloon races can litter the countryside and leave debris in the sea which can cause problems to animals and birds.”
The race is being sponsored by MAC Multi-Activity Centre.
There’s more information about the race on the hospice website and you can buy your balloons at www. rabr.co/ech.