The Virtual Balloon race is back!

The Virtual Balloon race is back for its second year at East Cheshire Hospice. In this 21st Century race the balloons exist only in cyber-space , using real weather data and Google maps for real-time flight path tracking, a computer programme calculates which balloon flies the furthest.

Balloons are for both schools and individuals and are now available to buy online for just £3. They can be personalised by choosing the size, shape and even the thickness of the rubber and it’s these choices which will inform the computer calculations – bigger balloons may fly further but could explode whilst thinner balloons may fly higher but may be subject to wind conditions.

“It’s a fun, environmentally friendly, family activity and an opportunity for teachers to educate their pupils about environmental management, geography, physics, map reading, geology, meteorology and more,” says community fundraiser, Lisa Ball.

East Cheshire Hospice staff prepare for this year’s Virtual Balloon Race. (From left to right) Beth Candy, Lisa Ball, and Fay Coombs with Pippa Williams (front).“We can offer an educational presentation for class time to support the learning or even a whole school assembly,” adds Lisa.

The balloons are tracked over a week and the three balloons to fly furthest will win prizes, with the owner of the winning balloon receiving £100 worth of family friendly vouchers.

Last year’s race attracted more than 650 entries with 12-year-old Lilly Fogwill from Gatley picking up the prize for the balloon that travelled the furthest - more than 1200 miles to Copenhagen. The race launches on March 27 at 3pm and you can buy your balloons online now