Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Georgia Holds First Ballooning Championship

Last October the Republic of Georgia held its first aeronautics championship, sponsored by the country's leading wine producers, in the region of Kakheti (pictured below). Fifteen teams from Georgia, the Czech Republic, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, and the UAE participated.

Hot air balloon pilots dropped markers from their balloons, trying to hit targets on the ground below. While three prizes were awarded to the top performance in this regard, the most coveted prize came from a special competition. The Kakheti Governor's Cup - consisting of a 100 liter oak barrel full of Saperavi wine - was awarded to the team able to drop markers into ten empty wine barrels.

Other special prizes were awarded for other feats: the Black Sea Cup went to the first pilot able to capture a "Golden Fleece" hoop suspended from a pole 5m above the ground.

The event was organized by the National Aeronautics Federation of Georgia, the Governor of Kakheti, the Department of Tourism and the Department of Sports.

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