East Flemish balloonists off to the ballooning World Championships

Two balloonists from East Flanders will Belgium at this year’s Ballooning World Championships in Austria.  One of the duo is 29-year-old David Spildooren from Sint-Niklaas. He works as a pilot for Brussels Airlines and is Belgian ballooning champion.

David Spildooren and his teammate Steven Vlegels from Sinaai will compete against 100 other teams from all over the world. They will has to complete a number of tasks and will be given points according to precision with which they complete them.

"The World Championships is something special”, David Spildooren told VRT Radio 2 East Flanders.

"I would be satisfied with a place in the top 30. It won’t be easy, but you never know. I started flying balloons when I was 16. It’s a true passion. The peace especially is just heavenly”.

Each country is entitled to send a number of balloonist to represent it at the World Championships. The competitors don’t fly traditional round-shaped balloons, but rather egg-shaped competition balloons. These are able to ascend and descend twice as fast as traditional balloons. This can be as fast as 9 metres per second.