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06 October 2003

America's Challenge Launches in Record Time!

Fourteen competitors in the America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race are safely aloft and flying. The launch began at precisely 5:00 PM MDT before a record crowd for a gas ballooning event at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. All 14 balloons were launched in just 40 minutes -- which we believe to be a record for this type event. The Team 11 balloon, piloted by Shane Robinson and Ron Martin, briefly made ground contact immediately after liftoff. No one was hurt and the flight continued.

The balloons are headed generally in a southeasterly direction. The weather in Albuquerque has steadily improved throughout the day and looks good for the Balloon Glow scheduled to begin in about half an hour (6:30 PM MDT). The weather patterns developing downrange indicate that this may be a very interesting strategic race, with several options available to the pilots.

Posted by Luc at 2:00 AM

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