Manchester Sale Sharks Player Spends an Evening in the Skies Andrei Ostrikova enjoys balloon flight We welcomed our second celebrity flyer of 2016 earlier this week – professional rugby player Andrei Ostrikov. The Manchester Sale Shark’s rugby player ventured on one of our sunset flights from Lancaster’s Crook O’ Lune with his wife Julia last Wednesday. Meeting the sporting star came just a couple of months after flying U2’s Bono. The couple were lucky enough to fly on Julia’s birthday, thanks to the beautiful spring weather being on side. Speaking about his experience in the skies, Andrei said: “I was very excited. It was so amazing and breath-taking at the same time. “The air was so quiet and peaceful. You can feel the freshest ever air, and the location was superb with beautiful surroundings. I will never forget it.” The flight was both Andrei and Julia’s first time in a hot air balloon. The couple hadn’t really thought about going up, up and away before, but found us online and decided to go for it. Andrei Ostrikova hot air balloon ride The Romance of the Great Outdoors… As an outdoorsy couple, a balloon flight was the perfect activity to celebrate Julia’s birthday. “It was a romantic flight and quite fun too, as there were another 14 people in a basket all full of positive emotions,” says Julia. “We are quite outdoorsy couple. We love spending time on fresh air. One of our favourite outdoor places is Durdle Door in the South of England. We also love hiking in Lake District. Here at VBF we’re quite inspired by Julia and Andrei’s sense of adventure – they have even been cliff diving and camping around rivers in Russia. “We like to explore new places around the world and our holidays are always very active. When on beach holidays we love snorkelling and Andrei is a big fun of sea life!” Breath-Taking, Peaceful, Exciting… The couple said it was quite scary when the balloon reached its highest point, but amazing at the same time, as was the smooth landing. “Flying over Lancaster, we saw some mountains around Kirby and beautiful green countryside. We even saw some wild animals as we came into land – the landing was great, Chris the pilot and his crew are so professional and nice, it was a pleasure to meet them. Chris made us feel very safe and reminds us of Bear Grylls – such a character! hot air balloon shadow More Rugby Players on Hot Air Balloon Rides Andrei has told fellow Sale Shark players all about the experience, so we hope to welcome more sports stars to take life higher and experience the skies. “The guys saw my video and photos and asked me how it was,” says Andrei. “I told them that it was one of the best experiences of my life and I recommended they do it.”

A video posted by Andrei Ostrikov (@andrei.ostrikov) on Apr 20, 2016 at 3:49pm PDT

Julia and Andrei can’t wait for their next balloon flight. “It may have been our first time on a balloon flight, but it certainly won’t be the last. Andrei and Julia Virgin balloon flight We have several launch sites in the North West, including our new Manchester hot air balloon ride location. Follow in the footsteps of stars and book your adventure today.