July 24, 2006
OHIO CHALLENGE HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES WINNERS
Middletown’s James Wannemacher was named champion for the 2006 Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon competition. Second place went to Sean Askren, also of Middletown, Ohio. Third place was claimed by the 2005 champion, Rick Cusick from Lima, Ohio. Fourth place pilot was Mark Yeakle from Springboro and fifth was Dr. Mark Frazer from Middletown.
Rain prevented the pilots from competing on Saturday morning and Saturday evening’s flight was shortened by poor weather conditions so no competitive tasks were performed. Sunday morning weather was near perfect so the competition director scheduled a total of four tasks to make up for lost time.
Pilots were instructed to fly to designated points to drop their weighted markers as near the targets as possible. The pilot with the best combined scores wins. Pilots add their scores for the year together to compete for the best national rankings to earn a place in the annual U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championships.
Primary Sponsor MidFirst Credit Union helps present the Ohio Challenge three-day festival each July. The event included Team Fastrax Skydivers, a Cyclocross race, 5K race, Classic Car Show, concerts and many other festival activities. Organizers will soon release crowd numbers and begin planning for the 2007 Ohio Challenge.
For more information about Ohio Challenge, call 513-422-3030 or visit www.ohiochallenge.com website.
##### Ann Mort
Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival