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Gas Balloon News

Oct 10, 2017

Polish/American Team Last Aloft in 22nd America’s Challenge


Update 9:30 AM MDT (1530Z) Tuesday, October 10

Team 3, Cheri White of Austin, TX and Mark Sullivan of Albuquerque, NM, has landed safely just outside State College, PA to clinch fourth place in the 22nd America’s Challenge distance race for gas balloons. 

The Command Center reports that Sullivan and White flew over Penn State University in what is known as Happy Valley, and Mark and Cheri were happy to be there.  They landed in a balloonist’s backyard, which definitely helps when it comes time to pack up the equipment. 

This leaves just one team still flying: the Polish/American entry of Krzysztof Zapart and Andy Cayton (Team 4).  They are still moving at a blistering 65 mph (105 km/hr) and have just overtaken the USA’s Peter Cuneo and Barbara Fricke to claim second place.  They have a chance to reel in the first place team, Nicolas Tièche and Laurent Sciboz of Switzerland (Team 6), but are still about 350 miles (563 km) behind.   

We would note that all results are provisional until the teams complete their debriefing with Scoring Officer Jim Byrd and their tracking data is confirmed.

Will Zapart and Clayton land with second or do they have the gas and ballast left to go after first place?  Find out over the next hours via live race tracking at http://www.balloonfiesta.com/gas-balloons/gas-tracking, or the Balloon Fiesta free apps for Android and iPhone.