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International Balloon Festival

Stavropol > International Balloon Festival

International Balloon Festival

The 12th International Balloon Festival, held at the end of September, drew 15 teams from Moscow, Novosibirsk, Ryazan and elsewhere, including Belarus and Kazakhstan.

An annual international balloon festival has been held in the Kavkazkie Mineralnye Vody (KMV) for more than 10 years in a row.

Chosen for its unique landscape, the KMVS 17 fabled laccoliths attract hordes of spectators to witness flights over the resort towns and through mountain gorges. Thousands of spectators attended a mass balloon launch at the the opening ceremony on the central square in Es- sentuki. The first day saw drizzle and high winds, but warm, sunny conditions for the remainder of the Festival enabled seven out of the planned ten launches to go ahead.

The festival programme traditionally features a competition. Anton Morev from Moscow was ahead at the start, but with the competition hot on his heels he was forced to concede the lead to Krasnodars Sergei Voynov. A mistake on Sergeis part put Anton back in front and sealed his claim to the Golden Ring. Behind him came Stavropols Alexander Visloguzov, and the podium line-up was completed by the veteran Lev Mavrin from Ryazan, rounded up the president of the Stavropol Krai Ballooning Federation, Vitaliy Nenashev. The sole female pilot, Valeria Boksha (Belarus), received a cup from the mayor of Essentuki.