Safety given priority at Lord Mayor’s Balloon Regatta

The safety of pilots, organisers and spectators were highlighted this weekend as unsafe conditions saw the Ricoh Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta cancelled.

Around 50 hot air balloons were due to take to the skies of London in aid of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. However, the annual event had to be cancelled for the fifth time this year to ensure the safety of everyone associated with the event.

While it had previously been cancelled because of too much wind, or not enough of it, the reason this time appears to be ground conditions. At Battersea Park, the host the event, the park’s teams stated that wet grounds made it unsafe, adding:

“the ground has retained a lot of moisture and is therefore too soft for vehicles to drive onto the grass.”

Sunday 2nd December had also been on standby as an alternative date for the event, but after communicating with the team at Battersea Park, organisers concluded that ground conditions were unlikely to improve in time. They have therefore cancelled it, but are already looking forward to next year’s event in June 2019.

While it can be disappointing to have an event or hot air balloon ride cancelled, safety is always a paramount concern with hot air ballooning. It is simply not safe to fly if it’s too windy, foggy, or wet, and no respectable company would try to. When you book a hot air balloon ride that is cancelled due to poor weather conditions, the operator should be more than happy to let you rebook for another convenient time.

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