We are moving toward the balloon race itself. The warm-up was a team of skydivers. I don't know if these things are properly called parachutes or parasails (advice welcome). The top one looks like it's made of tubes but I can't tell if they are open to the front or not.
These pictures were taken at or near full extension with a 100-400 mm lens on a camera with a 1.6 crop factor. The jumpers mostly looked like dull smudges from the ground. The day was perfectly blah, a sky-wide soft box with not enough wattage. As you can see at the bottom, not everyone was thrilled.