Great Texas Balloon Race to host US Nat'l Championship for addit - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Great Texas Balloon Race to host US Nat'l Championship for additional year

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Ballons inflate during this year's event. Ballons inflate during this year's event.

From the Great Texas Balloon Race:

LONGVIEW, TX – The Great Texas Balloon Race and the Balloon Federation of America have announced that the US National Championship will stay in Gregg County for an additional year. Two years into their three year (2012-2014) term, the GTBR has submitted a bid to host the Championship for a fourth year. The Hot Air Competition Division of the BFA has accepted the GTBR letter of intent for 2015 and contracts will be forthcoming.

BFA President, Sam Parks explained, "This process started prior to the Hot Air Competition Division's annual Board meeting last month; the board sent out notices to all of the Organizations that had expressed an interest in hosting the 2015 US Nationals. They were asked to submit a letter of intent; once the Board convened in Canton, Ohio they considered all submitted letters and decided to return to Longview, Texas for the 2015 US Nationals."

Parks went on to express the rationale of choosing the Great Texas Balloon Race, "The decision to return to Longview for an extra year was easy, the Great Texas Balloon Race has a proven track record of hosting first class competitive balloon events and over the course of the last two years they have proven quite well that they can organize and run our Federation's premier competition event. The folks of East Texas should be proud of the efforts put forth by the Great Texas Balloon Race Board, Sponsors, Event Officials and Volunteers, their hard work and successfully run Championships is setting the bar quite high for any other Organizations to follow."

"I am beyond pleased with the extra year for the Hot Air Balloon National Championship, 2015, which has been granted to us by the Balloon Federation of America," remarked Bill Bussey, GTBR Founder and Championship Liaison. "The top winners of the 2014 and 2015 Nationals will make up the team that represents the United States at the World Championship in 2016. This is truly a dream come true for Longview. And we are very proud of the boost this provides to the local economy."

In addition to and concurrent with the US Nationals, The Great Texas Balloon Race will also host the BFA sanctioned Texas State Championship through 2015. The winner of Texas State Championship obtains an automatic entry into the next year's National Championship. Jim Birk will continue to serve as Championship Director as well.

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