Albuquerque to Canada
The last of the balloons competing in the America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race have landed Monday after more than three days of flying. Competitors took off from Albuquerque, NM Friday night in a race to see who could fly the farthest distance.
The unofficial winners are Barbara Fricke and Peter Cuneo. They landed on the east shore of the Detroit River in Windsor, Canada after having flown more than 1300mi from their launch point in Albuquerque. This is the duo's second win in the America's Challenge.
This is the second time the race has been won by a female primary pilot, and it is the first time that the top three spots on the podium have been held by teams with female primary pilots. The team of Danielle Francoeur and Linda Ellis finished second, and the team of Cheri White and Mark Sullivan finished in third.
Gas ballooning is a true adventure as teams fly for days over remote areas and vast seas. The intrepid individuals who compete in these grand adventure races are a rare breed. They carry on the tradition of the early barnstorming balloonists. While the technology may be advanced the idea is the same... use the most primitive aircraft known to man to harness the wind, avoid the weather, and travel great distances. Truly remarkable.