JASPER Balloon Finishes 1st in Derby Balloon Race

2014 Kentucky Derby Balloon Race_1

Pilot Warren Smith prepping the Jasper Engines & Transmissions Balloon before flight!

The Kentucky Derby Great Balloon Race was held this past Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky. Pilot briefing began at 5:00 AM and we were given the green light for flight! We drove out to Bowman field. The field of 31 balloons was ready to race. This was to be a hare and hound race. Just before 7:00 AM, we started our inflation.

A very good crowd was on hand for this early morning flight. The surface wind was light and out of the south. Only 200’ up, the winds switched around to be out of the west and were at 29 mph. The hare balloon flew about 7.5 miles to the east and landed in Tom Sawyer State Park. The “X” target was laid out on the RC airplane field. Around half of the balloons scored on the target. The Jasper Engines & Transmissions Balloon had a very good throw on the target.

The Awards Banquet was held at noon to honor all of the teams. The Jasper Engines & Transmissions Balloon was honored with a first place finish, beating out the United States Champion and the current World Champion. By winning first place, the Jasper Engines and Transmissions Balloon receives an automatic entry into next year’s race.