International Balloon Meet takes place in Velikiye Luki

Velikiye Luki hosted today the opening of the 18th International Balloon Meet. For the third time Gazprom acts as the general sponsor of this annual event.

Nearly 50 balloon pilots from Russia, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine came to the town of Velikiye Luki to take part in the Meet. They are going to compete for winning several prizes, namely the International Cup of Friendship, golden medals of the Women's Championship of Russia (national competition), the Cup of Russia (national competition), the Cup of Velikiye Luki (international competition among repeat participants) and the Cup of Princess Olga. If the weather conditions are favorable, the balloon pilots will accomplish 50 trials during the Meet.

Sergey Vinogradov – Master of Sports, three-time winner of the Championship of Russia, holder of the 1st Cup of Russia and the Cup of Velikiye Luki – is flying a balloon carrying the Gazprom logo.

For the first time at the international competitions in Velikiye Luki the balloon pilots will use loggers – special devices designed for collecting spatial and temporal data. These devices will replace specially trained observers and will help balloon pilots participating in the European and World Championships gain extra skills in operating them.

Gazprom's Management Committee Chairman Alexey Miller sent a message to the Meet participants. Inter alia, Alexey Miller said:

“This year the 18th International Balloon Meet coincides with another milestone date – on June 5, 1783 the Montgolfier brothers conducted the first flight on a hot-air balloon. 230 years later we are celebrating this remarkable date in a beautiful town of Velikiye Luki. Let this breathtaking competition become another contribution of Gazprom to the development of the national sports and a real treat to the locals.”


The 18th International Balloon Meet will close on June 14. The sports event is held under the auspices of the Russian Balloon Federation, the State Committee for Physical Education and Sports of the Pskov Region and the authorities of Velikiye Luki.

Gazprom website Editorial Board

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