LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) – Weather has cut short the competition at an annual hot air balloon event in East Texas.
The final competition flight for Great Texas Balloon Race pilots was canceled Sunday morning by race organizers due to hazardous weather conditions.
Saturday’s wild competition set the stage for what was expected to be a race to the wire for drivers trying to win the 2022 race.
However, after an hour and a half late on Sunday morning, the race was canceled due to weather issues.
“Today was really disappointing for those who didn’t score well on day one but had a good day yesterday and kind of moved up the rankings,” said longtime announcer Glen Moyer. GTBR date. “They really needed a flight today to try and catch up.”
It was a disappointment for some drivers like Arizona’s Jonathan Wright who, after scoring big on Saturday, wanted one more chance.
“I did well yesterday. I would have liked to do a little better on Friday, but that’s how the race goes,” Wright said.
As the last competition flight was cancelled, they had to check the scoreboards to see who had racked up the most points from the previous two days’ flights.
“Yesterday was an amazing day; everyone was on target,” Moyer said. “Two spots on the main target, and it looked like they couldn’t miss.
Kentucky driver Nick Donner finished first overall, taking home $7,500.
“It was nice to see the different targets,” Donner said. “The winds were more stable than they were here at Maude Cobb, and we got much better scores from day one.”
Second place went to Forth Worth driver Rhett Heartsill. who won $3,700.
“The winds were really steerable,” Heartsill said. “They put the goals in the right places, and almost anyone could get a result and not just a result, but a really tight score,” Heartsill said.
Missouri City’s Johnny Petrehn finished third, winning $2,500.
Arizona’s Patrick Nilz won the Young Guns category, winning $2,500.
The event is called a huge successful comeback.
“It’s one of the best recognized competitive events, not because hot air balloon racing says, ‘Hey, we’re awesome’, but it’s because the pilots know it and have built that reputation” , Moyer said.
Jonathan Wright finished 5th overall and Heartsill also won the Texas State Championship title.
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