Global Ballooning's own, Paterson Saunders competed in the 2017 Northam National Ballooning Championships from September 2 - 10. The newly designed Zonzo Racer balloon took to the skies skies, with Paterson finishing up in 9th place.
Paterson, age 21, has already experienced flying balloons in France, Ireland, Slovenia, Qatar and the North Pole.
“Competitions are completely different to drifting across the sky without a care in the world, they require tremendous planning, focus and a solid understanding of GPS mapping technology.” Paterson said.
“Given my upbringing, I was predisposed to be a natural wanderer. It is my hope that my travels across Australia with my Zonzo balloon will fill me with many tales of people, places and strange happenings,” Paterson said.
The Nationals competition required pilots to fly balloons through a set course which includes goals, targets, scoring areas, time and distance limits. Best results are achieved using the wind variations at different heights when approaching the set goals and end target.
The target needs to be hit by markers droped by an on-board crew member who must drop markers as close to the target as possible. The targets are situated on the ground below.
Viewers were encourgaed and welcome to watch the balloons participate in the competition. Many of which were professional photographers, as hot air ballooning is simply stunning for outdoor photography shots.
For more information on the Northam Nationals, you can visit the website: www.northamnationals.com
Zonzo and Paterson imagery can be found on our facebook page- www.facebook.com/GlobalBallooning/
by Erin Tucci