The 23rd FAI Hot Air Balloon World Championship will be hosted in Großsiegharts, Austria. The event will be organised by one of the most experienced ballooning club in Austria. The “1. Waldviertler Ballonfahrer Club” came up with the idea of a World Championship, convinced the FAI delegates to host it, and is now in charge of the event.
About the organiser
The “1. Waldviertler Ballonfahrer Club” was founded March 18, 1983 and is one of the oldest hot air balloon clubs in Austria. The first pilots had to be trained outside of Austria. As this could not be a definite solution, soon a pilot school was created, where many austrian and international pilots could be trained, and are still trained today.
The club organised the first balloon meeting with 10 participants in 1984. in the following years, the club pilots regularly qualified to participate in international competitions. To name a few: Ingo Fuchs at the World Championship 1985 in the USA, Ingo Fuchs and Leopold Hauer at the European Championship 1986 and Leopold Hauer at the World Championship 1987, where he became 3rd. Leopold Hauer participated once more in the 1993 World Championship where he ended rank 55.
The “1. Waldviertler Ballonfahrer Club” organised until today:
- 1988:Open Austrian National Championship with 43 competitors from 8 countries
- 1993: Austrian National Championship
- 1995 – 2002: different regional championships and balloon cups
- 2003: Austrian National Championship
- 2010: Open Austrian National Championship with 48 competitors
- 2013: Open Austrian National Championship
The idea of hosting a World Championship was born in September 2015. At the beginning the work was focused on the possibilities and conditions to host such a great and official event in the “Waldviertel”, up to presenting the bid to the FAI in January 2016.
About 150 hot air balloons will participate at this official Hot Air Balloon World Championship of the Federation Aeronautique International (FAI). Participants will come from more than 30 countries to compete for the the title of World Champion. A balloon event of this size has never been organised in Austria ever before. Based on the already incoming feedback it will create great opportunities for the region of the “Waldviertel” and beyond.
This international competition is only organised every second year. Only the best teams from around the world are qualified to participate. 2014 the event was hosted in Brazil, 2016 in Japan.
The region, and the country, are ideal for hosting such an event, but will also offer a great place to welcome a large number of visitors.
The local facilities are well chosen in one single central place, close to the balloon take off site. This will allow for a large crowd visiting tand enjoying the show with and around the balloons.
More details can be found under “Program”.