Brazil. From Soccer to Ballooning


An entire state was thoroughly infested by the futbol bug inexorably crawling into every nook and cranny of the exotic South American nation between June 10th and July 13th, 2014 – albeit accompanied by the countrywide controversy as to more reasonable ways for the government to spend its financial resources. In the end, 16,7 million passengers had arrived at 21 airports to reach twelve seething arenas, in order to witness countless matches of varying excitement fought by eager international teams. Even Lord Jesus in his capacity as a much-revered monument in stone rising high into the Rio de Janeiro skies, was humorously kicked to life by digital camera tricks, enabling him to playfully propel an occasional footie during the World Soccer Championship in Brazil this summer. Televised globally, the games verifiably turned into a huge success.

Another sports event later in July – on a more moderate scale but by no means less impressive – was the colourful 21. FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship 2014, carried out in the Federal State of Sao Paulo – and for the first time on South American soil. Yudai Fujita from Japan became the celebrated aerial victor.

 60 balloonists flocking in from 22 countries attracted to Rio Claro's „Aeroclube“ an expectant audience of 35,000.

60 balloonists flocking in from 22 countries attracted to Rio Claro’s „Aeroclube“ an expectant audience of 35,000.

Skillful pilots required for Hot Air Balloon competitions

For their manoeuvrability, Hot Air Balloons are fully dependent on the wind. It requires great skill, judgement and experience to interpret changes of its direction at various altitudes and pilots make use of them to navigate to positioned goals or to achieve maximum or minimum distances between two fixed points. Each balloon is equipped with a GPS flight recorder and a tracker. In some competitions, the information gleaned is transmitted back to the spectators who are then able share the excitement while the balloons are flying. Pilots and crews have to complete several days of competitive racing with one or two flights per day.

More Bs
Embratur, die Brazilian ministry of tourism, supported the Championship.
By implementing its international promotional programme for Brazil, Embratur backs the efforts of government offices and non-commercial organisations in executing repeating international events(min. three times). Whether they may be of a technical, scientific or sportive nature is not pertinent. Qualifying organisations are invited to apply with Embratur directly.

The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, FAI – The World Air Sports Federation, was founded in 1905.
FAI is a non-governmental and not-for-profit international organisation with the basic aim of furthering aeronautical and astronautical activities worldwide, ratifying world and continental records and coordinating the organisation of international competitions.
After a century of steady growth, FAI is now an organisation consisting of more than 100 member countries forming a strong network linking all those who participate in air sports worldwide.

What FAI does

FAI activities include the establishment of rules for the control and certification of world aeronautical and astronautical records. FAI establishes regulations for air sporting events which are organised by member countries throughout the world. It also promotes skill, proficiency and safety in aeronautics, confers medals, diplomas and other awards to those who have contributed to the achievement of these aims as well as for work done in the restoration of old aircraft.
Photos courtesy of flickr/