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08 October 2003

Abruzzo/Rymer-Davis unofficial winners of America’s Challenge

Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer-Davis have safely landed in Wisconsin, not too far from Lake Superior. Their balloon was the last of 14 in the race to set down.

The race started Sunday in Albuquerque as part of the city’s annual international balloon fiesta. The balloon that travels the farthest from Albuquerque wins the race.

The results will not become official until race officials have the opportunity to review all of the flight data. This should happen sometime Saturday, October 11. If the results stand, this would be Richard Abruzzo’s third America’s Challenge victory. Fricke and Cuneo have also previously won the America’s Challenge .

The German/American team of Willie Eimers and Greg Winker (Team #2) finished third, landing near Waco, Texas late yesterday afternoon. Mark Sullivan and Cheri White (Team #13) are the apparent fourth-place winners.

The top three American pilots qualify to compete in next year’s Coupe Aèronautique Gordon Bennett, one of the world’s premier gas balloon competitions. The Gordon Bennett is traditionally held in the home country of the previous year’s winner. A French team won the 2003 Gordon Bennett last month.

These are the UNOFFICIAL results of the Eighth America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta:

#4 Richard Abruzzo/Carol Rymer-Davis, LANDED 40 mi. SE of Duluth, MN, 1,100 mi/1770 km
#6 Barbara Fricke/Peter Cuneo, LANDED 70 mi. N of Minneapolis, MN, 1,020 mi/1640 km
#2 Willie Eimers/Greg Winker, LANDED 22 mi. SW of Waco, TX, 612 mi/985 km
#13 Mark Sullivan/Cheri White, LANDED 24 mi. E of Clovis, NM, 243 mi/391 km
#14 Phil MacNutt/Brian Critelli, LANDED 5 mi. SE of Clovis, NM, 215 mi/347 km
#9 Sam Parks/ Andy Cayton, LANDED 12 mi. NW of Clovis, NM, 209 mi/336 km
#7 Bruce Hale/Mark Devaney, LANDED 18 mi. N of Clovis, NM, 208 mi/334 km
#12 Tom Boylan/Bob McCluskey, LANDED 5 mi. NW of Portales, NM, 204 mi/328 km
#8 David Levin/Alan Levin, LANDED 30 mi. N of Clovis, NM, 200 mi/322 km
#5 John Kugler/”Red” Sheeshe, LANDED 30 mi. SW of Clovis, NM, 184 mi/296 km
#1 Johnny Petrhen/Richard Sabin, LANDED 5 mi. SW of Logan, NM, 175 mi/282 km
#10 Astrid Gerhardt/Stephan Mueller, LANDED 15 mi. NE of Roswell, NM, 169 mi/272 km
#11 Shane Robinson/Ron Martin, LANDED 50 miles N of Roswell, NM, 143 mi/230 km
#3 Tom Donnelly/Simon Forse, LANDED 4 mi. S of Santa Rosa, NM, 133 mi/214 km

Posted by Marianne at 9:25 PM

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