82 Hot Air Balloons Cross English Channel Breaking Record

At 7am this morning, 82 hot air balloons launched from Lydden Hill Race Circuit and headed for the famous White Cliffs of Dover and the open water setting a new Guinness World Record.

The previous record, coincidentally set on the same date of April 7th in 2011, saw 49 balloons complete the flight, however today’s flight easily surpassed this number.

Organised by aerial marketing specialist Exclusive Ballooning and sponsored by recruitment processing outsourcing specialists Datum RPO, this proved to be the flight of a lifetime for all involved as the balloons drifted over the busiest shipping lane in the world.

The Datum RPO bespoke hot air balloon led the pack over the 35km distance of water and was piloted by company Director James Strickland.

Datum RPO – Co Founder James Strickland said “what a fantastic flight in perfect weather conditions, having flown across the channel in 2011 this time was truly amazing to break the Guinness Book of Record attempt, of all the flights I have ever done this has to be the number 1”

Exclusive Ballooning’s Director Andrew Holly flew alongside James in the official Lord Mayor’s Appeal hot air balloon which was enjoying its maiden flight, having been unveiled for the first time on the launch site this morning.

Andrew said “Thank you to all the pilots and crews who travelled so far to make this truly an international and unforgettable flight. The 2011 flight was my favourite of all time and we were thrilled to be able to give so many pilots from all over Europe the opportunity to have the same experience. It has been a fantastic day and I think this morning’s flight is now top of my list!”

With pilots participating and travelling to Dover from 10 different countries, this operation was no small feat. Specific weather conditions are needed both on the ground and at altitude and these do not frequently appear.

The flight has been on standby since March 5th, with Exclusive Ballooning co-ordinating all 82 teams from 10 countries across Europe making sure everything and everyone was ready to go once the correct flying conditions were identified.

Exclusive Ballooning also worked closely with P&O ferries in regards to the logistics of over 100 vehicles arriving at Dover port shortly after the launch, all hoping to get to France and find their pilot and balloon as soon as possible.

Once all teams have returned to their home countries, the GPS flight tracks from each balloon alongside some stunning pictures will be submitted to Guinness for this to be officially ratified as a new world record and with BBC Breakfast broadcasting live from a balloon and the pictures going worldwide, there will be a wealth of evidence to choose from.

For further information and pictures of this flight please visit www.ballooncrosschannel.com