2007 Balloon Race

!!!Latest Balloon News - 15th February 2008!!!

Although far too late to be included in the table below we have had a report of another balloon being found. This was found was by prawn trawler in his nets in the Firth of Forth on 14th February. It is amazing that the label was still legible after 7 months in the sea. The balloon had been bought by Jonathan Stout, and knowing how competitive he is, he will surely be delighted because a balloon bought by his wife Becky had also been found. Unfortunately for Jonathan his balloon was found 186 km (122 miles) from Stockton whereas Becky's had travelled much further.


Balloon Race Details

At our launch party on 21st July we released 200 orange balloons and could easily have sold another 200. We will know better next year. There is no doubt that this is going to be an annual event to be held around the time of Graeme's birthday on 29th July.

People speculated where they may end up and Northallerton about 20 miles away was an optimistic answer.

Some people suggested that none would be found but we were not so pessimistic.

It was suggested that the prize could be a trip to where the winning balloon was found. It is fortunate we changed our minds because the cost of a trip to where the winning balloon was found would have been rather high (see below). The winner's prize is a bottle of Mercier Champagne that Rachel brought back from France.

Reports of findings started the day after the race. The finder phoned up to say one was found just outside Edinburgh. This was a huge surprise and created much excitement in the Turner house. We don't get out much you understand.

Over the next few weeks emails and telephone calls reported balloons being found all the way up the east coast and then north coast of Scotland. However, the big surprise was a telephone call from a German man aged 83 who had found one on an island off the coast of Denmark. He was on a camping holiday and seemed very excited by it all. He had even taken the trouble to determine the actual latitude and longitude coordinates of where he had found it.

Obviously this balloon was in the lead and remained so until an email from another German man who had found a balloon while on holiday on a small island off the German coast called Amrum. The balloon had actually been found on 30 July but we did not hear about until two weeks later. Obviously email access if you are on holiday is not important.

On 25th August, the very last day of the competition, we had an email about another finding. This one was actually found about half a mile from where the first one was reported. The person who found it must have been on holiday at the time since it had been found on 14th August.

Anyway enough of all this preamble. Who won? The answer is balloon number 120 bought by Pam Braham from the Hartlepool Job Centre which is where Graeme worked so this is fitting. The balloon was found 627 km or 389 miles from where it started and an amazing thing is that this was only 6 miles or 10 km further than the balloon found in Denmark.

To determine the winner I obtained the coordinates of each place using a map from the web site

These coordinates were then entered in another web site which calculated the as-the-crow-flies-distance between our back garden in Stockton and the site where the balloon was found. The answer was in kilometres so in the table I have also given the distance in miles.

I had a lot of fun finding out how to do this so definitely want to do it again next year.

I am sure that Graeme would have approved of me being so diligent in determining the result.

The table below shows the details of the balloons that were found and who bought them . Although only 14 were found out of 200 this is still pretty good and has given some excitement over the weeks since the race. It was very good of people to let us know

If you click on the links in the table you will go to a map showing the location. You can zoom in or out on the map to get a better idea of where the places are.

The place where the winner was found looks like a beautiful quiet place for a holiday. The whole of the western side of the island is a white flat beach and for some lovely photographs of the area so click here Amrum

The photos were actually taken in late July and early August this year but I cannot see any balloons on them.

If your balloon is not listed below then unfortunately we did not get any report of it. However, if you visit the central Highlands of Scotland I am sure you may find lots of orange balloons scattered around.


Balloon Number Owner Date Found Location Distance from Stockton

km (miles)

120 Pam Braham 30 July South east of Wittdun on Amrum Island, off German Coast. Click here to view on a map 627 (389)
122 Sandra Brumpton 2 August Borsmose, Near Esbjerg, Denmark. Click here to view on a map 617 (383)
8 Eva Jordison 29 July Farr Bay, Near Bettyhill, North Coast of Scotland. Click here to view on a map 474 (294)
38 David Lynch & Kathryn Hobson 24 July Armadale Bay, Near Bettyhill, North Coast of Scotland. Click here to view on a map 473 (294)
54 Becky Stout 10 August Whitehills, Banff. Click here to view on a map 354 (220)
163 Ruth Oates 27 July Usan, Near Montrose. Click here to view on a map 245 (152)
31 Iain Mackenzie 3 August Lower Largo Beach, North East of Kirkcaldy. Click here to view on a map 208(129)
26 Chris Nickless 31 July Largo Bay, North East of Kirkcaldy. Click here to view on a map 207(129)
14 Bede Knox 11 August Largo Bay, North East of Kirkcaldy. Click here to view on a map 207 (129)
146 Sue O'Brien 22 July Livingston, Near Edinburgh. Click here to view on a map 202 (125)
191 Emily Parsons 14 August Aberlady Beach, East of Edinburgh Click here to view on a map 187 (115)
28 Sarah Batty 22 July Gosford House, Aberlady, East of Edinburgh. Click here to view on a map 186 (115)
83 Rod Lumley 15 August East Saltoun, East of Edinburgh. Click here to view on a map 175 (109)
60 Amanda Oliver 6 August Cockburnspath, South of Dunbar, Berwickshire. Click here to view on a map 165 (102)