Unless you’re afraid of heights, few would call a ride aboard a hot air balloon a thrilling experience. But did you know there’s such a thing as competitive hot air ballooning? It might not be as exciting as air-to-air combat in fighter jets, but can you think of a sport that has a better view?
Before you jump to any conclusions, the answer is no; competitive air ballooning doesn’t involve trying to shoot down other balloons and knock them out of the sky. It’s doubtful any city would allow such a competition to happen overhead. Instead, competitors strive to accurately fly from one waypoint to the next, dropping markers on a target at each one.
Each balloon is essentially turned into a bomber, and the pilot who racks up the most bullseyes, without crashing their craft into trees, someone’s house, or other balloons, wins. Although, like Nascar, we do wonder how much mid-air bumping is allowed.