Feeds

Blighty battles Oz for stratospheric supremacy

Amateur ballooning rivals meet for head-to-head showdown

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The money shot, though, came at 34.8km (114,173ft), when Mark's orb was snapped at a distance of around 1.2km (3,937ft), having expanded to an estimated diameter of 10m (a tad under 35ft):

The view from Dave Akerman's payload at 34.8km, showing Mark's balloon expanded to an estimated diameter of 10 metres

Dave enthused: "The best part of the day was seeing those amazing images of his balloon from the camera below mine. We hoped there would be a few taken during the initial ascent as the two balloons kept such close company, but we weren't at all expecting to see such photographs from up to 34.8km."

The Cloud 7 camera also captured some spectacular scenery...

High-altitude snap from Dave Akerman's Cloud 7 payload

...before coming down in a field south of Attleborough, Norfolk:

Dave Akerman with his recovered Cloud 7 payload

Mark recovered his Horus 28 close by:

Mark Jessop with his recovered Millinut payload

Yes, yes, we hear you cry, but in whose trophy cabinet are the HAB Ashes now sitting? Well, Horus 28 topped out at 40,449m (132,700ft), while Cloud 7 hit 40,570m (133,100ft).

That, ladies and gentlemen, means Britain pipped Australia to the post by a mere 121m (397ft).

A triumphant Dave Akerman told us: "It was of course good to beat my old foe yet again, though really with hydrogen my balloon should have whipped his balloon all over the sky. Still, a win is a win even with such a small margin! No doubt he will spend the next few months plotting revenge before he returns to the UK next summer."

Mark described himself as "not gutted at all – it was too much fun for that". He said: "I think the best part of it was seeing images of my balloon taken from Dave's camera payload while at 34.8km altitude. I'm not sure if that's been done before."

Mark Jessop quaffing Bundaberg Ginger BeerHe noted: "I will point out that his balloon burst 5m lower than my last UK launch attempt, which got to 40,575m (133,120 ft). The current altitude record stands at 44,379m (145,600ft), so we're both still a way off from that!"

Regarding the delicate matter of ale, Mark reported: "I haven't had any beer since I've been here, apart from some Aussie Bundaberg Ginger Beer, which Dave happened to have a stock of."

Dave described this suspect beverage as "the drink of losers :-)", and was able to provide us with exclusive proof of the outrage, as Mark copped a crafty quaff of said libation.

According to the manufacturers, Bundaberg Ginger Beer is "brewed to a genuine old recipe to release the natural flavours of ginger".

Apparently, the brew contains "no artificial colours or flavours". It also contains no alcohol whatsoever, meaning that despite its "superior taste", it won't be making the list of approved LOHAN beverages. ®

Bootnotes

*The Cloud missions are named in honour of Bryan Cloud. Dave said of his father-in-law: "He was keen on photography and space so I name all my photo payloads after him. He died in 2004 and I'm sure he would have loved to get involved in this new hobby of mine."

All the above photos are copyright Dave Akerman. We thank him for permission to reproduce them here.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?