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03 September 2003

Preparations for Gordon Bennett


The two Belgian teams have been preparing for Gordon Bennett for months. There are rumours about pilots who are going to make it hot for Armstrong, and others who can already run faster than their own shadow; about pilots who drift about at sea or who spend a night at the home of some relatives because they have a cold storage room. That’s apparently the way to test whether the new thermosuit is as good as stated in the directions for use.

In brief, they are looking for circumstances that, according to them, are necessary to build up strength of character. The strength not to yield and to spend even a third night aboard their balloon. That’s the only way to be able to win the Gordon Bennett ... and that’s what they are participating for!

All the materials have been checked and double-checked in order to gain some extra pounds. The result is approximately one extra bag of sand. Maybe that’s the bag that will make the difference between victory and defeat.

For our second Belgian team everything is new. Of course they get useful information from Ronny, Philippe, the brothers Leys and Willy Eimers ... but they have to compete against the best gasballoon pilots in the world. We’ll just have to wait and see...

Looking at the list of participants we have to conclude there are not many “old rags” among the balloons. Only the Polish (but on the other hand Makne is very experienced) and the second French team. All the others have got very competitive balloons and stuff.

A number of new balloons have been inscribed for the race, even some built in 2003. Bob and Benoît are also participating in a brand new balloon, designed to make a good appearance.

On july 23 D-OBYN “Miche” left on its maidenflight, a 9 hour trip with an intermediate landing. If the gold colour of the sand, used as ballast, is an indication towards the future of the balloon and its pilots, it is certainly going to be a prosperous, beautiful future...


We want to congratulate "Miche", Bob, Benoît and the rest of the crew and to wish them a safe flight and a very successful Gordon Bennett!

Donald and Luc Buyle
for Gasballon.be

Posted by Marianne at 11:30 PM

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