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New national hot air balloon distance record

Hot air balloon enthusiast Markku Sipinen has set a new national distance record of 498 kilometres, flying from Rovaniemi to Virrat.

Image: Yle Uutisgrafiikka

While modest by international ballooning standards, Sipinen's flight beat the previous double record of two flights of 430 kilometres set in 2008. The record is still unofficial and has to be confirmed.

Sipinen took off on Saturday, covering the new record distance in 11 hours and 11 minutes with a ground speed reaching 65 km/h on some stretches. He says that it was an ideal time of the year for the venture, as days are long enough for extended flights, while cold temperatures keep updrafts to a minimum.

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