Dad reveals secret weapon to beat son in Great Texas - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Dad reveals secret weapon to beat son in Great Texas Balloon Race

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LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

The Great Texas Balloon Race is always filled with competition, but no competitor's situations are as unique as this one.

A father and son will be competing against each other in this year's race.

The two both have team names that the father Al Nels, took the responsibility of claiming.

     

"Let's just say, we're mature, that we be called not Senior but Varsity.  Then we had to give a name to the new team, Andrew's team and we thought that it would be good to call them the Freshmen," said Al.

Even with it being Andrew's first national race, Al showed up with a brand new race balloon that caught everyone by surprise.

"This black bag showed up, which is the bag the balloon was in, and the way he normally flies, it's a red bag. I looked at it and was like, 'What the heck is this?'" Andrew said, "'Did you get a new balloon or you borrow something?'" said Andrew.

"We actually told my wife her only job on the first time that we took the balloon out was to take pictures of Andrew's face. It was so telling because you could see a quizzical look on his face at first. Then you started to realize that he knew what was going on and this enormous smile erupted across his face," said Al.

The balloon was kept secret for almost 8 months. The design of the balloon came from sketches his daughter made when she was ten years old and it's completely representative of their family. 

"She drew a little farm scene and she had some fences and she drew some other scenes. My wife loves quilting. You'll see a barn quilt on the barn and that's to represent her.

You'll even see their previous balloons they've flown together on the balloon. It's a game that brings the two together

"It's a family bond that we have and it's really nice to be able to work with my dad and still learn from him," said Andrew.

The Great Texas Balloon Race will continue through the rest of the weekend.

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