Wind Grounds Balloon Race Pilots - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

07/12/08-Longview

Wind Grounds Balloon Race Pilots

It's the second day in the row that winds have interfered with the Great Texas Balloon Race. But the interference may have given a second wind to some pilots looking to win some prize money.  

"There is a lot of disappointment because we're all competitive. This is one for the premier competitive events in the country," said Tyler pilot Bill Baker.

So the second day of competition was cancelled, and pilots planned for a one day competition.

"It reduces the days of competition, of course, but anybody that does well tomorrow morning is going to get a nice prize," says Arkansas pilot Mike Hickey.

The cancellation was disappointing to event organizers after they had a successful first day.

"Weather is just something we have no control over, and we're thankful it's not rain" said event chairperson Tammy Skinner.

For Hickey, who was grounded yesterday because of a tear in his balloon, it puts him right back in the hunt. Another race team, the Gauthier team, loaned him a second balloon so he could compete in tomorrow's competition.

"The pole grab is worth 10-thousand dollars, so I'd like to take that home. That would take care of the repairs on my balloon," said Hickey.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.

bhallmark@kltv.com

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