24/02/2013 Back to News
Brass Monkeys came out to play!
We have had a lovely time this weekend and three balloons flew, the pilots being Kevin Graham, Pete Dalby and Koen Audenaert. Kevin flew from Rudding Park, with the other two electing to move to the more northerly site of Allerton Park to gain extra flying distance back to the south.
We held our Saturday evening dinner in the Deer House at Rudding Park, and we were pleased to see a full house, with lovely food and good company.

Following the dinner, we had two trophies to present - the first being the 'Trans-Pennine Challenge Trophy' which is a joint venture between our club and our sister club over the Pennines, the North West Balloon and Airship Club, (www.nwbac.com ). It is a competition open to members of either club, and the challenge is to claim the longest single flight over the Pennine Way from one side of the Pennines to the other.

The winners of the 2012 challenge were Graham Cannon and Peter Haworth in
G-CHAU. The retiring champion, Ray Wright presented the trophy to Pete who promises to clean and cherish the trophy and bring it back next year!

The second trophy is one which has been part of the club since 1981 and it is called 'The Brass Monkey Trophy'. It is awarded annually to a member who has shown outstanding achievement or commitment in the previous months.

This year the Brass Monkey trophy was deservedly awarded to Phil Traviss. Phil has been a long-standing member of the club, taking office in a variety of roles including Chairman, Secretary, meet organiser, newsletter editor and probably everything else. He is always there to offer help in training new members, his advice is always well met, and not least, he always has a friendly, welcoming face. For those of you who may not know Phil by name, you will know him by his flat cap!

A special prize of a box of 'Yorkshire Tea' teabags and a 'Yorkshire Tea' mug went to Koen Audenaert, who had travelled over from Belgium to take part in our meet, and who was one of the balloons to fly (OO-BSA). It had only taken him 200 kilometres and two hours driving time to get to the meet (the other 12 hours courtesy of the ferry!).

After prize giving, the club members welcomed Crispin Williams to the floor. Crispin was one of our founder members back in 1978 and was the first winner of the Brass Monkey trophy in 1981. He entertained us with the tale of how he won the trophy and this story included his co-pilot Christopher Davey, and the huge Crest Hotels envelope, a two-storey basket, multiple cylinders of gas (some of which became a danger to shipping... and canal barges!), boxes of avocado, two sides of smoked salmon, two jet fighters popping up through the clouds to see what this apparition on screen actually was, multiple landings through cloud into the Moselle valley in Germany squashing vineyards in the process, being knocked out by a 47kg propane cylinder dropping out of the basket after his untimely exit, and of a fantastic retrieve crew (including Sara) who arrived bang on time to meet Christopher on final landing. Christopher thought he had to break the news to her of killing her husband! Hilarious! Thank you Crispin and Sara, we loved it!

And onto next year... we hope you will join us.
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