Willisau to become centre of hot-air balloonists 2019
Swiss Championship and "Swiss Cup", 29 May to 2 June
From 29 May to 2 June - over the Ascension weekend - the hot-air balloon enthusiasts will gather in the pretty country town, as Mayor Erna Bieri-Hunkeler calls her Willisau. She welcomes us with friendly and expectant words: "We can experience the fascination of ballooning, the precision and the interaction of technology and nature up close. The sky over Willisau is enchanted with many splashes of colour".
20 challenging tasks await the competition pilots
For the 13 Swiss and 16 foreign teams, ballooning will be a "tough" competition at the 2019 Swiss Championship and the Swiss Cup (open Swiss Championship). The pilots measure their skills in 20 different challenging competition tasks. Walter (Jimmy) Rey, long-time balloon pilot and OC president, speaks from experience: "Precision, ambition, tactics and safety come first. The competition riders try to reach the given or self-determined goals as precisely as possible and set their markers by making the best possible use of the wind conditions prevailing at different altitudes. A perfect cooperation between the basket and ground teams is crucial for a good result."
We are delighted to welcome the successful Swiss balloon pilots Roman Hugi and Stefan Zeberli, the two pilots Nicole Vogel and Lea Zeberli, the young pilot Walter Rey and Kurt Frieden, gas balloon specialist and multiple Gordon Bennett winner, to this top-class event. In addition there will be teams from Germany, Hungary, Spain, Italy, France, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Russia and even the USA.
The competition balloons start in good weather conditions in the morning and evening shortly after the briefings, which take place at 5.00 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. respectively. The morning starts will be outside of Willisau due to the thermals. The starting points and other important information are noted on the website.
Fiesta balloons and a family-friendly supporting programme
If the weather plays along - which we all hope very much - all the teams playing together very well will be able to present the fascinating balloon sport to a broad and certainly enthusiastic audience of Willisau and the whole region.
All the more so as 20 Fiesta Balloon teams with two daily rides (approx. 5.30 a.m. and 5 p.m. each) can convey the fascination of ballooning in the air to sponsors, event partners and guests.
A promising supporting programme awaits young and old: children's playground, huge balloon cover for children to play with, gas-filled children's balloons, model balloons explaining the art of hot-air ballooning in detail, parachutists, spectacular night glow of the balloons, etc.
We look forward to welcoming you to this major event in Willisau, your OK SMHL 2019.