Sibling rivalry spurs balloon ‘world record’

Alfie with the balloon before the launch

Alfie with the balloon before the launch

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A youngster who wanted to emulate his older brother by seeing how far a balloon could travel was staggered when it potentially broke a world record.

Alfie Melbourne wanted so much to follow in the footsteps of his brother Brandon, 15.

Alfie's balloon was found by a German couple on holiday in Denmark

Alfie's balloon was found by a German couple on holiday in Denmark

In 2009 Brandon set off his grandfather’s happy retirement balloon from his family’s Aylesbury home, and it ended up 341 miles away in Archen Germany.

Alfie was just born when the original stunt happened, but now aged six, he was keen to beat his brother’s record.

So last month Alfie, together with his mum Charlie decided to release another balloon.

She said: “While looking back through some past photos, Alfie saw his brother’s photo with the balloon.

“So wanting to outdo his big brother we did the same on Saturday, July 18 we released Alfie’s first ever tagged balloon.”

The family thought nothing of the launch until a few days later, when they received an email from Detlef and Nadine Muler.

The German couple were on holiday in Denmark when they spotted the foil balloon and attached note in the Husby dunes.

A Google search later the family realised that the balloon must have travelled across the north sea close to Norfolk, and if it was travelling it a straight line it would have covered more than 466 miles.

The family then called the Guinness Book of World Records, which said that while the feat sounds like a world first, it will take between six and eight weeks to get a definitive decision.

Guinness also said that no official distance had ever been set for a party balloon of the kind used by Alfie, so he could be a record-setter too.

Charlie said: “When we explained to Alfie, all he was interested in was that he had beaten his big brother’s balloon.”

Alfie, who attends Turnfurlong Infants School, said: “It was my idea to set off the balloon and it feels really good to beat my brother.

“I haven’t said anything to him about it yet.

“We were all really happy about it, I’m on holiday at the moment from school but we are going to do something to celebrate.”

Alfie and his family released the balloon from a location in Milton Keynes.

And if the Guinness Book of Records accepts the new category, the flight will be the longest recorded by a party balloon in the world.

Alfie will also receive a certificate and appear in the annual book of 
achievements.