Over the weekend of the 10-12 June 2016 we were back at Camp Hill, Kirklington, Bedale DL8 2LS for the 4th PRBA Henge Hoppers meet.
The weather in the week preceding was lovely and it looked as if a good weekend was on it's way, but then the mist and rain landed reducing the only feasible flying slot to Sunday morning. Nevertheless balloonists turned up (with or without their balloons) to take part in the fourth version of the Henge Hoppers meet. With camping on site at only £6 a night, it made for a bargain weekend away.
Camp Hill has all manner of activities for those adventurous souls - from Aerial Extreme (basically, playing at monkeys in the tree tops!) to quad bikes and Segways. Some of our attendees were brave enough to go play monkeys and some went on the Segways.
Saturday could have been a very special day for one couple, as Elaine had been plotting with a gentleman by the name of Josh who wanted to propose to his girlfriend, Kathryn, either in balloon basket or under a sky of balloons taking off. Sadly neither was going to happen on the Saturday as the rain just would not stop. Josh did the deed anyway and she said YES! So smiles all round.
Sunday dawned and the promised slot didn't materialise - not least until 10am when usually on a June morning we would be arriving back from flying, but Team Chau Bella (The Cannons, Haworths and Balls) and Team Read/Wetters decided to go Henge Hopping - the challenge this year was to land furthest from the centre Henge of the three Thornborough Henges. Murphy's law duly applied itself and the prevailing wind took the balloons directly to the Henge.
Briefing round-up had to have two versions, as the two teams were not back in time for the 12 o'clock slot so we awarded the quiz prizes - leading the pack was Phil Traviss and Co. and those needing to go back to school were the Birchalls, however not a shabby score even though they took the booby prize. (If anyone wants the answer sheet - please email firstname.lastname@example.org )
The second briefing slot went ahead as soon as the two teams were back and a decision taken on whether the intermediate by Graham Cannon counted as a landing. Alas no, it was deemed to be the final landing which scored the goal. Decisions made, distances carefully scrutinised, and Peter Haworth declared the winner - the fab Henge Hoppers trophy going back with Team Chau Bella for the second year (with Peter's comment that he hadn't actually seen it any of the previous year!)
Thank you to all those who came along; with a balloon, without a balloon, but all with good humour and lots of fun. Camp Hill never disappoints - such a fabulous place and a privilege for us to be part of it all for a weekend.
And coming next (possibly - as still in negotiation); The National Armed Forces Celebration weekend at Cleethorpes 24-26th June. Keep your eyes on the website for updates.