RE/MAX Valley Hot Air Balloons

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December 15, 2006

Valley Real Estate

Contact:  Al Leonard
Phone: (330) 629 - 9200

Our Valley Homes - RE/MAX Times Online - Press Release 

<For Immediate Release>

Affiliate Wins World Ballooning Championship

John Petrehn, a Sales Associate with RE/MAX First Realtors in Shawnee Mission, Kan., took home top honors at the 17th FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship in Tochigi, Japan in November.

Petrehn, who also is a Balloon Pilot for the RE/MAX Mid-States and Dixie region, beat out 62 other competitors from 31 countries.

During the 10 days of the championship, pilots were scored on 28 individual tasks. Each flight has between one and five parts, with two to three tasks per part.

"We had a great time," says Petrehn, who was a full-time balloon pilot before joining the network in 2005. "We were able to fly six out of the 10 days, and because this was my fourth trip to Japan, I knew what to expect."

The hardest part of this year's competition for Petrehn was that he's had little time to practice since changing professions.

"I usually fly between 100 and 150 hours in a year," he says. "This year, though, I've been able to fly only five. I thought I'd be a bit rusty, but with the help of a terrific navigation crew, everything worked out. We were always in one of the top spots, but it wasn't until the last days when we knew we'd taken the lead."

For Petrehn, flying hot air balloons and being a RE/MAX Affiliate are a perfect fit.

"After 9/11, being a professional balloon pilot became a lot more challenging," Petrehn says. "I'd been flying RE/MAX Balloons for a long time and had always been interested in real estate. When I decided to start my real estate career, it seemed like RE/MAX was the way to go. I plan to continue flying and competing. I hope, as my business grows, that I'll be able to take more trips like this."

Copyright 2006 RE/MAX International Inc. 12/15/06

Valley Real Estate
1006 Boardman Canfield Rd
Boardman, Ohio 44512
 (330) 629-9200



BREATHTAKING: John Petrehn competed in the World Hot Air Balloon Championship.