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06 October 2003

Two Landed in America's Challenge

Two balloons have assumed -- for the moment -- a clear lead, and two others have landed as the Eighth America's Challenge Race for gas balloons continues at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

As of 11:30 AM MDT (1830Z), the teams of Barbara Fricke and Peter Cuneo (Team #6) and Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer-Davis (Team 4) have both traveled about 200 miles (approx. 325 km) and are northeast of Clovis, NM and entering the state of Texas. Several other balloons are headed eastward through the east-central portion of NM, generally in the area east of Vaughn and west of Clovis.

Two teams have landed safely. Team #11, Shane Robinson and Ron Martin, landed early this morning about 50 miles north of Roswell, NM. Team #10, Astred Gerhardt and Stephan Muller, landed about 10:00 AM MDT (1700Z) about 15 miles NE of Roswell.

As expected, this is shaping up to be a strategic contest, with pilots trying to position their balloons for the best track to ultimately travel the longest distance. It should be a fascinating flight to the finish for the remaining 12 competitors.

Posted by Luc at 9:12 PM

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