Rhyl couple floating on air after balloon triumph in America

Reporter:

Suzanne Jordan

A COUPLE are bursting with pride after winning a silver award in a World Balloon Convention with a sculpture made up of 30,000 balloons.

Mike and Sara Harris, of For Every Occasion in Rhyl, headed up the British Team in the large sculpture competition at the Convention, which was held in Denver - known as the Mile-High City because of its elevation of one mile above sea level.

As it was the first time that a team from the UK had competed at the event, the couple decided to build an 16 feet high sculpture portraying the Red Arrows in Flight - something that was “typically British”.

They led a team of 11 and were given 27 hours to build their design; they finished with just 20 minutes to spare.

Mrs Harris said: “When we finished, the emotion we all felt was incredible. We all just literally burst into tears and hugged one another.”

Mr Harris added: “Sara had many horrible dreams about the sculpture collapsing but, once the build had started, every worry we had over the previous six months disappeared - we just got on with the job as a team.”

Mr Harris went on to say that the event was not without its dramas.

“Being at altitude, the air is thinner - it felt like we had the whirlies all day,” he explained.

"The initial plan was to build five planes but it became apparent quickly that three planes was going to the maximum we would manage. Our team were magnificent; we kept ourselves going by laughing and chatting. We had to keep drinking and applying lip balm because of the altitude.

“Sara finished up in the emergency room with a popped tendon and a 600 dollar bill. Dangerous little blighters are balloons.”

The duo also competed in a Balloon Column competition in which they achieved a Bronze Award.

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