Richard Parry takes Queen’s Cup title

A hot air balloon pilot from Stroud has successfully completed a 199-mile journey to take the UK’s oldest sporting prize, the Queen’s Cup.

Richard Parry’s epic balloon flight ended in Great Yarmouth on Sunday, after he left Bristol early on Saturday.

The competition, which has the full title of the Queen’s Air Race Challenge Cup, has a long history and was first held back in 1719.

Parry’s performance led him to come out on top in a group comprising 12 other pilots. According to the rules of the race, those in charge of the vessels were obliged to get their balloons to the ground by 4:00pm on Sunday.

After his victory, the victorious pilot received a grand trophy which had been made from Irish silver and was presented to the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom by the Queen three years ago.

Don Cameron, who was in charge of the event, said:

“This is a wonderful race which tests not only balloonists’ long distance flying capabilities but also their tactical skill. Working out everything from air traffic, weather changes to refuelling and crew logistics it is, I suppose, similar to the Olympics but for hot-air balloon teams.”

The Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom is known for being particularly generous with the trophy. It does not just give it to the winners of the same competition year after year. Instead, it chooses to share the prize between various events and has done so since 2011.

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