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01 October 2005

Gordon Bennett / America's Challenge 2005

After a long and tiring flight we landed Wednesday evening in Albuquerque. We hope the balloons won't get the same weather conditions as DL1589, the flight of Delta Airlines Atlanta - Albuquerque. If an Airbus 737-800 is already shaken like this, what would be the effect on a simple gas balloon ???

ABQ-03.jpg


BEL1 & BEL 2 are ready ... So, 'let the games begin'!

ABQ-11.jpg


At the general briefing yesterday the order of launch for the Gordon Bennett race and for the America's Challenge has been determined by random draw.

The balloons will take off in this order:

Participants-GB.jpg

49th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett:

01 Gerald Stürzlinger / Johann Fürstner (AUT) - Hydrogen
02 Saburo Ichiyoshi / Maco Oiwa (JAP) - Hydrogen
03 Tom Donnely / Colin Butter (GBR) - Helium
04 Richard Abruzzo / Carol Rymer Davis (USA) - Helium
05 Josef Höhl / Stefan Handl (GER) - Hydrogen
06 Christian Stoll / Walter Mattenberger (SWI) - Hydrogen
07 Bob Berben / Benoît Siméons (BEL) - Helium
08 Leo Burman / Danielle Francoeur (CAN) - Helium
09 John Cayton / Dan Suskin (USA) - Helium
10 Heinrich Brachtendorf / Karl-Heinz Huthmacher (GER) - Hydrogen
11 Max Krebs / Walter Vollenweider (SWI) - Hydrogen
12 Ronny Van Havere / Luc Van Geyte (BEL) - Hydrogen
13 David Levin / Mark Sullivan (USA) - Helium
14 Wilhelm Eimers / Ulrich Seel (GER) - Helium

Participants-AC.jpg

9th America’s Challenge Gas Race:

01 Ruth Lind / John Davis (USA) - Helium
02 Janet Folkes / Bill Arras (GBR / USA) - Helium
03 Ron Martin / Alan Levin (CAN / USA) Helium
04 Barbara Fricke / Peter Cuneo (USA) - Helium
05 Bert Padelt / Louis Vitanza (USA) - Helium
06 Frank Wechter / Paul Clinton (USA) - Helium
07 Tom Boylan / Tim Cole (USA) - Helium
08 David Hempleton-Adams / Jonathan Mason (GBR) - Helium
09 John Macnutt / Anja Kümmerlein (USA / GER) - Helium
10 Gordon Boring / Frank Campanale (USA) - Helium
11 Michael Wallace / Kevin Brielmann (USA) - Hydrogen
12 John Kugler / Dennis Brown (USA) - Helium

There have been some changes: John Cayton / Dan Suskin will participate at the Gordon Bennett race instead of Lesley Pritchard / Jack Mullen and there will be 2 Swiss registered balloons. 2 teams have withdrawn, but with 26 balloons in the air the competitions won't be less interesting...

During the meteo briefing we were told what to expect. It will be very important to leave the New Mexico region as soon as possible. In the beginning of next week Albuquerque can still expect the influence of some bad weather coming from Texas, with rain and thunder storms. During the past few weeks Albuquerque got 2 inches of precipitation, normally they get 8 inches of rain in a whole year. The competitors should cross the mountains very quickly and continue north or north east, direction Canada. They are expected to reach Wichita (Kansas) in 24 hours of time.

Today at 10:00hr LT the teams started with the preparation and inflation of the balloons. At 18:30hr LT the first balloon will take off; when the last Gordon Bennett balloon is aloft the balloons of the America's Challenge will follow immediately.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Posted by Marianne at 1:20 PM

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