Weather conditions keep Hot Air Balloon Championships grounded.

Hot air balloonists from Ireland, Britain and the United Sates have assembled at Newcastle House near Ballymahon in County Longford for the 17th Irish Hot Air Balloon Championships. Poor weather meant the balloonists never got off the ground 

The adverse weather conditions meant the teams are left testing their equipment on the ground in the hope they can do battle in the air at another juncture. Hot air ballooning is utterly dependent on the weather and as such it is not for the impatient. 

While the Hot Air Balloon Championships are competitive, the balloonists do not take things too seriously.

We regard the Irish meet as a fun meet.

Balloonists are judged on following another balloon that is trying to evade them and accuracy in landing. Many of the balloonists have gone off course and landed in unknown parts of the country. Landing mishaps may also occur, but if they do, it is better to land close to a road and to avoid landing in bogs or in water. 

The balloonists are passionate about their sport.

I just went for one balloon flight and I was absolutely hooked.

Another came to the sport when he decided parachuting was not for him.

Then I found ballooning and I’ve loved it ever since.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 6 October 1987. The reporter is Alisdair Jackson.