Hot Air Balloon Championships Return to Suirside

The Irish Hot Air Balloon Championship will be staged in Waterford for the third time this September.

The Irish Hot Air Balloon Championship will be staged in Waterford for the third time this September.

Genzyme is to act as primary sponsor of the 44th Irish National Hot Air Balloon Championships, which makes a welcome return to Waterford this September as part of our 1100th anniversary celebrations.

The event, previously held on Suirside in 2008 and 2009, shall see dozens of hot air balloons flying above the city and into her environs.

The balloons, crewed by hundreds of visitors from across Ireland, the UK, mainland Europe and the Americas, will create a fantastic spectacle.

Organisers hope that weather conditions will allow them take off from a range of sites, including the People’s Park in the city.

In addition, it’s hoped that there will be a spectacular ‘Night Glow’ event on the North Quays during the Championships from September 21st to the 26th, as they did during a previous visit here.

The Championships are also expected to include an attempt to break a record set at Waterford Airport five years ago for the largest number of hot air balloons launched in a single line.

Announcing the company’s support for the Championships, Richard Bierney, Site Head at Genzyme Waterford, said: “We’re delighted to be able to come on board as main sponsors for the Irish National Hot Air Balloon Championships in September.

“This promises to be a great family-friendly event and I know that many of our 550- strong Waterford team will be bringing along their own families to enjoy the spectacle. It’s also good news that the balloonists are returning to Waterford as the city celebrates 1,100 years.”

Championship Director Joe Daly welcomed Genzyme’s support.

“It’s a great boost to the team to have such a great Waterford company on board as our main sponsor,” he said.

“The support from a global company with such deep local roots is also a great fit with the spirit of international friendship that underpins our Championships.

“I know many of the balloonists who were here when Waterford previously hosted this event hope to return in September and I’m sure there’ll be a warm local welcome for the visitors to our city.”

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