Greeting of the Mayor of Willisau Erna Bieri-Hunkeler
Dear competitors and competitors
On behalf of the City Council and the entire population, I would like to welcome you to the Swiss Hot Air Balloon Championship 2019 in the pretty country town of Willisau. National events have a long tradition in Willisau. Both young and old are very enthusiastic when regional or even national champions are chosen in our town's marches. All the more reason for us to be delighted that this year the hot-air balloonists are choosing their national champions in Willisau. We can experience the fascination of ballooning, the precision and the interaction of technology and nature up close. The sky over Willisau is enchanted with many splashes of colour. A proven OC under the direction of Walter Rey and a large team of helpers will ensure that perfect conditions prevail. Many thanks to everyone for this great effort!
We are convinced that our picturesque old town with its historic buildings and the multifaceted Napf landscape offer a wonderful backdrop for this unique occasion. In addition, the varied supporting programme, the large selection of shopping facilities, the special museums and the cosy restaurants invite you to discover, enjoy and linger.
We wish the OC, the officials and all sportsmen and sportswomen the necessary weather luck, atmospheric, exciting competition days, much success and also some sociable hours in Willisau.
Your host city with the famous trademark, the Willisauer Ringli, is looking forward to welcoming you!
Erna Bieri-Hunkeler, Mayor of Willisau
Greeting from the President of the OK SMHL 2019
Hot air ballooning has a long tradition in Switzerland. But ballooning does not only mean taking off in an open wicker basket and enjoying nature from a bird's eye view. Ballooning can also be practised as a sport. Precision, ambition, tactics and safety come first. The competition riders try to reach the given or self-determined goals as precisely as possible and set down their markers by making the best possible use of the wind conditions prevailing at different altitudes. Last but not least, perfect cooperation between the basket and ground teams contributes to a good result at the Swiss Championships.
We are pleased to present this fascinating sport to you in Willisau in 2019. With Willisau as the venue for the Swiss Championship SMHL 2019, we not only have a perfect backdrop for the balloon pilots and passengers, but also the perfect location to bring the sport of ballooning closer to our audience.
In addition to the approx. 25 competition balloons from Switzerland and abroad and the 15 - 20 fiesta balloons, a supporting programme for young and old with the highlight "Night-Glow" will take place. All detailed information on the supporting programme and the competition can be found on the Internet at www.smhl.ch .
In order for such an event to take place at all, it needs a lot of support. A big thank you goes out to our sponsors and patrons, all partners and to the many helpers. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the city of Willisau for its support.
We are looking forward to great balloon days in Willisau and hope for perfect balloon weather during the Ascension Days 2019!
OK President of SMHL 2019, Walter Rey
Greetings from the President of the Swiss Balloon Association
We are looking forward to the upcoming Swiss championships in hot air ballooning. We are thrilled how many international teams want to compete with our best Swiss teams. The Willisau region is an excellent location for this national competition with international participation. The varied hilly landscape with its villages, hamlets, fields, forests and valleys will be remembered by all participants!
Switzerland can proudly see itself as a ballooning nation. Again and again, Swiss pilots are at the top of the podium in international competitions. Over the last few years we have produced many successful balloonists, who also compete against each other in the forthcoming championship. The promotion of competitive sport has been a pillar of the association's work for decades. It is only through our long-standing commitment to a strong national team that we can count on several top teams today. Teams from the USA, Germany, Russia and six other nations want to compete with ours and experience beautiful Switzerland from above. A perfect mixture for an eventful and exciting event.
In addition to competitive sports, our focus is also on promoting young talent in order to inspire young talent and thus other teams for our sport. Ballooning arouses positive emotions. So we invite all interested people to visit us at the end of May as spectators on the occasion of the championship. The pilots are always happy to answer questions about our great sport.
So let's look forward to a great competition with many trips in the Willisau area and hope for perfect balloon weather during the Ascension Days 2019.
Sunny greetings and always "Guet Land / good land" for our pilots, Pascal Witprächtiger