Sidmouth Herald competition enjoys flight of a lifetime...finally

PUBLISHED: 18:02 19 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:28 18 June 2010

FINALLY, after several failed attempts, a Sidmouth Herald competition winner has enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime balloon flight.

FINALLY, after several failed attempts, a Sidmouth Herald competition winner has enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime balloon flight.

Kirsty Williams and Martin Bond from Winslade Road, Sidmouth, won two tickets on a Virgin Balloon Flight last June, and after the prize arrived in August, made "many un-successful attempts" to take the flight.

It finally happened on Sunday.

Kirsty, pictured during the flight, said: "I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone at the Herald for a great competition for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something that I have always dreamt of doing and it really was a truly amazing experience.

"After a couple of tests with a normal balloon to check the wind direction, we ended up taking off from a field on the outskirts of Silverton and landed in Whimple.

"The actual flying time was just over an hour, with a champagne toast served on board.

"The whole experience was about three hours from pick-up to returning to the park and ride in Exeter, which included assisting in inflating the balloon and packing it all up at the end.

"The flight was totally amazing and the pilot Mandy Dickinson made it a real pleasure, pointing out various places as we flew over. She was also local, from Budleigh Salterton."

The prize package included shoulder bag, binoculars, pen, key ring, flight experience and the essential Virgin caps.

It also included a certificate of flight, signed by Richard Branson and pilot Mandy, for Kirsty to keep as a reminder of her special day.

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