Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett at start – first update

UPDATE 27th Sept 2010

20 Gas Balloons launched from Bristol for the Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race on Saturday 25th September, 12 balloons are still flying after 32 hours of flight.

The balloons launched from Bristol at midnight on Saturday 25th with a wind direction that took them south and over the channel at Lyme Regis at around 4am.

32 hours later 12 balloons still flying, including two balloons flying over the Mediterranean Sea, heading for Italy.

Balloons have been flying for 32 hours, with two pilots in each 1.2 metre squared basket.  20 teams have travelled from 11 countries to compete in this historic and unique aviation event which first launched in Paris in 1906 thanks to the organisation of James Gordon Bennett Jnr.

All teams pilots who have landed are safe and well, and beginning the journey back to Bristol for dinner with event Patron HRH Duke of Edinburgh on Saturday 2nd October.  The retrieve crews set out from Bristol after the midnight launch on Saturday and most are within an hour of the pilots who have landed.

For the first time since James Gordon Bennett Junior held his infamous gas balloon race in 1906 it launches from Great Britain, thanks to the winning race flight of intrepid explorer David Hempleman-Adams and co-pilot Jonathan Mason who flew 1767 kms from Albuquerque to the shores of Lake Michigan North of Chicago, winning the 2008 race.

Event President Anthony Smith said “The British Balloon and Airship Club are delighted to host this magnificent and historical lighter-than-air race in Great Britain for the first time.”


The 54th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett had a great start this weekend on 25th of Sept in Bristol. The breeze delayed the inflation of the balloons by a couple of hours but the audience was patient and relaxed waiting for the big moment to come up.

The public watched the inflation of the balloons and just before midnight all 20 launched into the night.

Check out the status of the flights and the official reports on the Gordon Bennett website.


Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett

www_GordonBennett2009_logo_200pxThis year was the 53rd Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett, one of the famous international FAI aeronautical gas balloon race named after the US Media tycoon James Gordon Bennett. From 5th to 12th September Vessy Sports Centre in Geneva was the host of this major event. If hotair balloons performances is one of your curiosity than I should mention the records over the years: in 1912 the distance was 2191 km, in 2006 distance coverd was 2449 and in 2005 – 3400 km. Quite impressive!

For this year’s event 16 gas-balloon teams from 8 nations (Austria, USA,Switzerland,Germany,Great Britain,France,Finland and Belgium) participate in this race which started with a dramatic night-launch in perfect weather conditions. Event Director Markus Haggeney sent the balloons on their way to the Mediterranean where they presently  are facing long overwater flights. The balloons’ landings were ,,a bit” distanced: 2 landed in France, 1 landed in Italy / Sardegna, 2 landed in Spain / on the Balearic Island of Menorca, 3 landed in Algeria,5 landed in Spain / Mainland and 3 landed in Portugal.  As you can see on this map. The three balloons which landed in Algeria also made the first ever intercontinental gas balloon flight between Europe and Africa. The results were impressive:


1. FRANCE 1, Sébastien ROLLAND / Vincent LEYS


3. USA 2, Mark SULLIVAN / Cheryl WHITE

Airsports.TV was there and soon you will get the chance to see great footages on our website.