America's Challenge

America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race is one of the world's two premier distance races for gas balloons.  It is modeled after the Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett, the world's oldest air race and the world championships for distance gas ballooning. The competition is simple. The team that travels the longest distance wins. This year's America's Challenge will be an all-American contest.

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The launch window for the 24th America’s Challenge opens at 6 PM (MDT) on Saturday, October 2. Balloon Fiesta guests can view launch preparations and the launch itself at Balloon Fiesta Park. For our many international friends who cannot attend in person, Balloon Fiesta Live! will offer live coverage of the launch. The map below will show live tracking of the balloons’ positions once the race begins.


America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race was founded by the Balloon Fiesta in 1995 through the vision and efforts of Mark Sullivan, former Balloon Fiesta president and recipient of the Montgolfier Diplome, one of ballooning's highest honors.  Sullivan saw the need for America to be identified with the world's most prestigious ballooning sport.  We are proud to provide a showcase in the United States to share the adventure and spectacle of gas ballooning.