The 1st FAI Women's European Hot Air Balloon Championship held from 15 to 20 June 2010 has been successfully achieved and allowed 27 female balloon pilots from 11 countries to measure their flying skills in the skies of Alytus (LTU).
Event Director Mathijs De Bruijn (NED) reported on the good work achieved by the Organising Committee and on the well-suited competition venue. Good weather conditions allowed setting attractive and demanding tasks, which included two pure "logger" tasks (Elbow and Land Run). The other tasks were mainly "marker" tasks, with an average 50 % of the markers dropped in the Marker Scoring Area. After having dropped her marker on the center of the target, a young lady even performed a dance in the basket, an elegant and fresh performance not very common during "traditional" competitions !
The first European Champion is Gabriela Slavec (SLO), followed by Lindsay Muir (GBR) and, with the Bronze Medal, Jolanta Matejczuk (POL). Competitors' feedback was positive, and this first European Women Championship sent a positive message of encouragement to all female pilots to intensify their training for the FAI Women's World Hot Air Balloon Championship to be held in May 2011 in Latvia.
For further information :
- Complete results and photos (by Andrius Repshys).
- A video clip showing the first competition day and provided by the Organising Committee is available on the SportsHub - FAI Air Sports Channel.