Hot air balloon pilot from Ely becomes two-time Guinness World Records holder by crossing the English Channel with 81 others
PUBLISHED: 09:41 17 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:41 17 April 2017
A hot air balloon pilot from Ely became a two-time Guinness World Records holder by joining 81 others who flew across the English Channel on Friday.
Simon Smeeton has been flying hot air balloons professionally for the last 20 years and has lived in Ely with his wife, Mhairi, for 15 years.
He completed the Cross Channel flight on Friday with 81 other balloons to get in the Guinness World records.
The record-breaking group set off from just outside Dover and landed right beside the Euro Tunnel less than three hours later. The group’s effort beat the previous record of 49 balloons.
Simon became a world record holder in the summer of 2015 in France when he broke the world record for the most hot air ballons taking off together at one time.
Simon’s wife, Mhairi Smeeton, said: “I guess there aren’t that many people who are married to a world record holder, and I’m very proud of him.
“The last time it happened was in 2011. This time round, Simon put his name in the ballot and he was successful.
“I trained at the same time but had a baby so that stopped me in my tracks.
The event’s organisers are currently liaising with Guinness to ensure their record-breaking achievement stands.
Guinness World Records had previously said organisers did not make a “formal application” before setting off on their trip.
It is expected they will make a retrospective application.