Weather slows down balloon racing, but may help Longview economy - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Weather slows down balloon racing, but may help Longview economy


Today's US Nationals Competition at the Great Texas Balloon Race was canceled because of the weather, and there is the possibility that weather could factor in for another day.

As the skies opened up over Gregg county this morning, the pilots were grounded, giving them a day off to consider where they are in the points standings, and maybe change their strategy on how they may approach the remaining days of competition more aggressively.

On the economic side, organizers say a day without balloon flights may not be a bad thing, with all balloon race visitors finding alternative ways to spend money.

"It's a plus, actually, a positive thing, because they've got to entertain themselves while they're here. So hopefully they're in movies and restaurants and shopping malls and the retail outlets," says race sponsorship chairperson Rhonda Bullard.

"The situation now for the pilots is that there's still a thousand points per task, so if somebody at the top has two real bad days, people further down will be able to move up initially, rapidly," says race event director Jim Burk.

All eyes now are on the weather for tomorrow morning's flight.

If weather conditions permit, organizers could add more tasks onto the flights to allow pilots to score points to make up for lost flights.

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