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Luc Trullemans

America'n Challenge Gaz Balloon Race 2011

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Victoire cette année de l'équipe anglo-australienne routée par votre serviteur à Albuquerque (US, New Mexico) après avoir établi un nouveau record de distance pour cette compétition d'endurance!

Carte des positions finales:

http://www.balloonfiesta.com/GasTracking/2011/mobile.html

Communiqué de presse:

Oct 4, 2011 : British/Australian Team Notches Greatest Distance in America’s Challenge

The last balloon in the 16th America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has landed. David Hempleman-Adams of the UK and Jonathan Mason of Australia (Team 6 with Luc Trullemans (B) as météorologist and Clive Bailey(UK) as flight director) are the winners. They made a safe but fast – 35 knots! -- landing at about 8:30 PM MDT (0230Z) this evening near the Canadian border, about 64 miles northwest of Minot, North Dakota.

Unofficial results pending completion of scoring shows that the team flew 974 miles (1,568 km) and also has apparently set a new America’s Challenge race record for time aloft. They were in the air nearly three days – 71 hours, 32 minutes, besting the old mark of 68 hours, 46 minutes set in 2008.

This would be the first America’s Challenge win for Hempleman-Adams and Mason, but not their first win for a gas balloon race in Albuquerque. In 2008, the team won the Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett, an international distance race very similar to the America’s Challenge. That race also began at Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque.

For much of Monday and Tuesday, Hempleman-Adams and Mason flew neck and neck with the race’s defending champions, Albuquerque’s Peter Cuneo and Barbara Fricke (Team 4). This terrific high-altitude duel spanned three states and nearly 24 hours as first one team, then the other took the lead. Cuneo and Fricke landed about two hours before Hempleman-Adams and Mason, and finished only 46 miles (76 km) behind. Cuneo and Fricke have won the America’s Challenge twice, in 2001 and 2010, and have finished second four times.

The other six teams all landed on Sunday and Monday, as follows: Team 5, Andy Cayton and Bill Manuel of the US, 555 miles/893 km; Team 1, Phil Bryant of the US and Wilhelm Eimers of Germany, 495 miles/797 km, Team 3, Mark Sullivan and Cheri White of the US, 355 miles/571 km; Team 7, Anulfo Gonzalez and Angel Aguirre of Spain, 224 miles/360 km; Danielle Francoeur of Canada and Linda Ellis of the US, 138 miles/222 km; Louis Vitanza and Bert Padelt of the US, 105 miles/169 km

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