As the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta's many
competitions come to an end, some lucky pilots are taking home
great prizes for their scores in the 2007 flying
The prizes this year included a 2008 Honda Ridgeline pickup, an
$8,000 Parmigiani watch and a Honda Gold Wing motorcycle, among
others. These awards were up for grabs, and only the best pilots
were able to 'rise to the occasion' (please note: the preceding pun
belongs to the Balloon Fiesta staff and ANN assumes no
responsibility for same... grin).
Buzz Biernacki, flying from Placitas, NM, won Thursday's Pole
Grab, earning an elegant Parmigiani watch. From his balloon "Sky
Draggin" he was able to outmaneuver the competition and win this
David Bobel, traveling
to Albuquerque from Rochester, Indiana, is the winner of Friday's
Key Grab Competition, which was presented by the American Honda
Motor Company.. Flying the balloon "That-A-Way", Bobel was able to
capture the keys to a 2008 Honda Ridgeline Truck.
The overall winner of the week's competitions was Steve Lombardi
of Texas. Pilot of both the "Winner's Circle" and "Mutual Funs,"
Lombardi was able to beat out hundreds of other balloonists to take
home a Honda Gold Wing Motorcycle.
Sid Cutter was presented with his own plaque by the Albuquerque
International Balloon Fiesta, an event which, until now, was
posthumous. Cutter founded the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension
Association with eight of his friends, and staged the first balloon
rally in New Mexico along with Tom Rutherford. His contributions to
Albuquerque and the sport of ballooning have earned him this
recognition from his peers.
Gary Bennett also inducted Al Tetreault into the Ballooning Hall
of Fame in recognition of his years of service to the sport of
ballooning. Al helped set up the emergency services and procedures
for the Balloon Fiesta, and helped to institute the Balloon
Fiesta's security, which is acknowledged as one of the best secured
events in the country.