With increased demand and popularity, 2018 was set to be even bigger and better and with over 160 balloons registered to take part. This year also saw the event celebrate its 10th anniversary.
On Saturday 15th September 2018, 169 different hot air balloons launched in the morning mass ascent, with a total number of 201 different balloons being on show during the Saturday alone, when you add in the ones that only tethered. The total number of different balloons flying or tethering throughout the whole event was confirmed at 210, which is truly incredible.
This now makes The Exclusive Cup Sky Safari 2018, the largest hot air balloon event the UK has ever seen and this achievement is all the more special, as this year was the events 10th Anniversary (2008-2018).
A total of 23 different special shapes were seen flying or tethering throughout the event and a total of 70 balloons across the three night glows.
Longleat once again welcomed pilots from across the world and nine balloon teams from the US travelled to the event. Exclusive Ballooning were honoured to also welcome ballooning legend and world record holder Dr Bill Bussey and twice world champion Johnny Petrehn.
Over £40,000 worth of prizes were given to pilots and teams at the Sunday Prize Giving, ranging from computers, drones, hooverboards, iPads to a holiday in Spain and the ultimate trip to Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in 2019, as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations.
The competition winner was Rimas Kostiuskevicius from Lithuania who won a Lindstrand NOMAD basket worth over £9,000. The lucky winner of our Grand Prize Draw was British pilot Ken Lowry who drove away from the event in a brand new Hyundai i10!”
While 2018 saw the unforgettable and never before seen sight of one hundred and sixty nine balloons floating over the beautiful grounds of Longleat Estate and three stunning night glows, The Exclusive Cup has worked hard to remain true to its roots and ensure that the pilots and crew who attend have a fun, relaxed and enjoyable time. Exclusive Ballooning continue to welcome pilots from across the world and particularly welcome and encourage new and novice pilots to the event.
Plans are now already under way for 2019.