America's Challenge

The 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), but  it differs from the older event in allowing balloons from all countries, without limits on the number of entries from each.   The team that travels the longest distance wins.   

With the rescheduling of the 49th Balloon Fiesta to 2021, the 2021 America's Challenge  event is now scheduled for October 2, 2021. 

In 2019 we moved to a new, satellite based tracking system!  See the 2019 tracking here, or for more details check out this guide. On a mobile device, you'll need to download the app and add the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta "Race".

Latest Update

America's Challenge 2019

Live Tracking or scroll back up 
Team Quick Reference Sheet
2019 America's Challenge Officials
America's Challenge Rules (2019)


The America's Challenge Gas Ballon 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 prestigous ballooning sport.  We are proud to provide a showcase in the United States to share the adventure and spectacle of gas ballooning.