Saturday 1248 – 27.08.2016
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I got up this Saturday morning at 4.15 a.m. I know it was bonkers wasn’t it, but it was for a good reason. The British Balloon and Airship Club (BBAC) were holding the British National Ballooning Competition over the past week and was based at the Lakeside Lodge Golf Resort in Pidley which is 10 mins from where I live.
Unfortunately I didn’t know it was happening until I got up on Weds morning, pulled back the curtains and there was one almost landed in the field at the end of my garden. My own fault of course, as I never read the local papers or watch local news reports. I rushed out and got a few pics and then did some homework to find out what was happening. No ballooning Thursday as weather not suitable.
Luckily I was able to get up early Friday Morning to watch that morning’s launch, having been given a tip-off as to where the launch was likely to be : it varies depending on the wind direction etc, and also watched again on Friday evening. I was utterly, utterly hooked and fast becoming the unofficial ballooning groupie! The “good ” photos you see above and below are from Friday.
Back to Saturday. I got up at 4.15 a.m, as I have already said, and drove to Lakeside. There was very thick fog and I nearly went back to bed but fog is always good for photos too, so I pressed on. I knew they were having a briefing at 5 a.m to decide on where the launch would be, if it went ahead, and I followed the teams when they came out. Of course it was hoped that the fog would burn off but it was looking doubtful because there was a cold front moving in.
The trucks, vans and other trailer pulling vehicles all arrived at the proposed site, an airfield near Chatteris, but ominously nobody started to unload their baskets and balloons, which they had done immediately the day before as this picture below shows.
and this was what it was like at Chatteris Airfield on Saturday morning.
Some difference huh ?
I was told this is what ballooning can be all about; getting up early in the morning and often being thwarted by the weather, with no launch happening.
I wandered about and took a few photos to show you what it was like, thankfully a few of the younger men decided to play frisbee so gave me something else to photograph. Thanks to them!
Click on any of the photos to increase size.
I have to say how much I admired the passion, exhibited by everyone, which enables them to get up so early, day after day, when competition is on.
For the next few days ( at least ) I will be posting more Balloon photos over on my photography blog Photomania and you can find them by clicking this link
A few links for anyone interested in finding out more about ballooning, but please be aware that if you do go to take photo’s, or view a launch or landing, you generally do so at your own risk unless the event states that it is open to the public with organised stewarding etc.
Of course there are always other photos to be taken and when the black flag was raised to indicate there would be no flight that day, everyone left, but I captured a few more photos on my way home.
With this one below being my favourite of the day!
Your thoughts are very welcome as ever.
Saturday Girl signing off..