14 Sep 2022

24th World Hot Air Balloon Championship opens in Slovenia

Please join in cheering on the pilots participating in the 24th FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship which begins with registration on Friday, 16 September 2022, in Murska Sobota, Slovenia. Central sites for the competition are at Murska Sobota Airport and Castle Rakičan. Competition flights are scheduled from Sunday, 18th thru Thursday, 22nd September, with the closing ceremony on Friday, 23rd September.

By the numbers:

  • 105 Total Competitors, each supported by a team of crew/logistics people
  • 32 Countries represented by Pilots and Officials
  • 45 Officials supporting Event Director, Claude Weber (LUX).  The team of officials cover duties including, Safety, Weather, Measuring, Scoring, Jury and Stewards.    

Dominic Bareford

Reigning World Champion, Dominic Bareford (UK) will be defending the title, earned at the 2018 Worlds in Austria. But he will have stiff competition as the field includes four past World Champions, including:

Rhett Heartsill (USA) 2016 World Champion

Yudai Fujita (Japan) 2014 World Champion

Johnny Petrehn (USA) 2010 & 2006 World Champion

Joe Heartsill (USA) 1995 World Champion.

You can follow the competition at:

To the competitors, crews, officials and the people of Murska Sobota, we send our best wishes for great flying weather and a week of challenging competitive tasks. Finally, we wish everyone a wonderful time renewing international friendships and starting new ones. 

Image: Organiser