Hot-air balloonists from eight countries took to the skies on Monday (May 24) in a four-day race in South Africa.
GVS Contestants and teams preparing balloons.
SV PAN UP balloon takes off
SVS another balloon being inflated and taking off (2 shots)
LV another balloon in air
SV another balloon begin inflated and taking off
AERIAL VIEWS balloons in flight (4 shots)
CONTESTANTS AND TEAMS PREPARING BALLOONS: BALLOON TAKES OFF: OTHER BALLOONS FOLLOW: AERIAL VIEWS BALLOONS IN FLIGHT.
Initials RH/1637 RH/RP/AW/1702
SPORT: HOT-AIR BALLOONING
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Background: Hot-air balloonists from eight countries took to the skies on Monday (May 24) in a four-day race in South Africa.
Hundreds of spectators watched as the balloons lifted off from the University town Heidelberg in what organisers claim is the longest race ever staged for hot air balloons.
The race is begin held in four daily stages with points being awarded for direction and distance travelled.
Star entry is Britain's Julian Nott, holder of the World altitude record of 46 thousand feet (14 thousand metres). After the race Nott was planning an attempt on his altitude record.
Other competitors included France's Arnaud De Villars who claims to be Europe's only professional balloonist - and Terry Wright, who says he is a distant relative of the Wright Brothers, pioneers of the aeroplane. West Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand and South Africa are also represented in the race.
The route was to cover mountains, rives and wild bushland over about 300 miles (480 kilometres).