Having returned to Sweden after taking part in the Tochigi Hot Air Balloon International Championship as a private competitor, FAI President Dr. John Grubbström shares his impressions of the competition.
"It has been a very competitive Championship, with the very best pilots in attendance, including World Champion Johnny Petrehn, and I must say that I have been impressed by the high level of the observers: they were really world class."
Competing for the second time in Motegi, Dr. John Grubbström had to contend, like the other participants, with the challenging flying conditions of the Japanese site. "Luckily, only two flights were cancelled due to rain, and the rest of the competition flights took place under good conditions. At one point, I was even flying at 6’000 feet. It was wonderful to be able to view the sea, the Japanese lands and Mount Fuji together.”
When asked what he thought of the organisation of the event, FAI President exclaimed, “They did it again ! Tochigi is a very good example of the way a National Aeroclub can keep a first class event going year after year. I congratulate them on the organisation and hope to be there again next year.”
Aside from the competition, FAI President took advantage of his stay in the island."During my visit I had the opportunity of meeting the President of JAA at their headquarters in Tokyo and inspect the meeting facilities for the planned CIA meeting in March."