News & Updates

Ready for Adventure: Teams Gear Up for 24th America's Challenge

September 22, 2021

After a one-year COVID postponement, adventurous gas balloonists are eagerly awaiting the return of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta’s America’s Challenge distance race…


Final America's Challenge Results Released as Competitors Celebrate

October 12, 2019

Posted 10:30 PM MDT (0430z) The results of the 23rd America’s Challenge race for gas balloons are now final and confirm what everyone already knew: Andy Cayton of the US and Krzysztof…


Results, Photos, and Videos - America's Challenge Flights and Landings

October 11, 2019

Posted 11 PM MDT (0500z) We are pleased to share with you official results for the 23rd Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta America's Challenge distance race for gas balloons. These resu…


Second No More! Cayton-Zapart Emerge On Top At America's Challenge

October 10, 2019

Posted: 8:30 AM MDT (1430z) In 2014, Poland’s Krzysztof Zapart, a jovial newcomer to gas ballooning, flew in his first America’s Challenge and impressed in his debut by finishing s…


Last Balloon Standing! Cayton-Zapart Pursue Race Leaders

October 9, 2019

Posted 4:45 PM MDT (2045z) And then there was one. French competitors Eric Decellieres and Vincent Leys (Team 2) reported their safe landing to the America's Challenge Command Center. They ar…


Interview with America's Challenge Race Meteorologist Randy Lefevre

October 9, 2019

Note: This interview was recorded before Team 7 (Pelard/Peterle) landed.


America's Challenge Leaders Land, Two Teams Still Flying

October 9, 2019

Posted 12:00 PM MDT (1800z) The Command Center has just received word that the race leaders, Benoit Pelard and Benoit Peterle of France (Team 7), have executed a safe landing east of Atikokan…


Team 5, Fricke-Cuneo, and Team 3 , Duncan-Cowlishaw, Report Safe Landings

October 9, 2019

Posted 8:20 AM MDT (1420z) The field still flying in the 23rd America's Challenge for gas balloons is now down to three, as more of the teams report landings. With brisk ground winds in Minne…


America's Challenge Landing Update, Teams 9 and 4 Report Safe Landings

October 9, 2019

Posted 7:30 AM MDT (1330z) In the past few minutes, two of the US teams have reported safe landings to the Command Center. Team 9, Cheri White and Mark Sullivan, landed near Hossmann, MN, we…


Austrian Team Lands in Minnesota; Seven Teams Still Aloft

October 9, 2019

Posted 5:45 AM MDT (1145z) The Command Center confirms that Team 8, Christian Wagner and Thomas Lewetz of Austria, have landed safely near Wheaton MN, close to the border with South Dakota.…


Photos from the America's Challenge teams

October 8, 2019

Enjoy these photos sent back on October 8, 2019 from our teams flying in the America's Challenge. Our thanks to the teams for giving us permission to share their experience!


First America's Challenge Team Lands

October 8, 2019

Posted 9:45 PM MDT (0345z) The Command Center has just received word that Team 6, Americans Al Nels and Andy Baird, have made a safe nighttime landing near Superior, Nebraska, just north of th…


All Nine Teams Still Flying as America's Challenge Begins Second Day

October 8, 2019

Posted 8:00 PM (1500z) It has been a quiet, routine day in the America’s Challenge Command Center, which usually means it has also been a routine day – as routine as it gets in a g…


Welcome Sunrise: America's Challenge Teams in Texas

October 8, 2019

Posted 9:00 AM (1500z) The nine teams competing in the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta’s America’s Challenge race for gas balloons are approaching their 12-hour mark al…


America's Challenge Airborne! Teams Float Northward

October 7, 2019

Posted 10:45 PM MDT (0445z) View Balloon Fiesta Live’s broadcast of the launch here! After two days of delays due to weather both in Albuquerque and downrange, it was all worth the wait.…


Ready To Go the Distance: America's Challenge Teams Prepare for Monday Launch

October 7, 2019

Posted 2:00 pm (2000z) The formal briefings are completed, the field is being prepared, and the nine international teams in the America’s Challenge distance race for gas balloons are in…


America's Challenge Launch Scheduled Monday, October 7

October 6, 2019

Posted 2:00 pm (2000z) Video update from Event Director Sam Parks Posted late Sunday night: Competitors unwind and reflect on tomorrow's race at Peter and Barbara's legendary lasagna party! At…



America's Challenge Launch Postponed

October 5, 2019

Posted 6:15 am (1215z) The launch of the 23rd America’s Challenge distance race for gas balloons is being postponed due to weather concerns in Texas and Oklahoma, in the direction the ba…


Officials Studying Weather Options for America's Challenge Launch

October 4, 2019

Launch Still Planned for Saturday Evening, October 5. View our first video update here, including interviews with Zapart/Cayton, Pelard/Peterle, and Forden/Padelt! The teams are in Albuquerqu…


Countdown Underway for America's Challenge Launch

October 1, 2019

Posted 11:50 PM MDT (0550Z) With the scheduled launch of the America’s Challenge just four days away, preparations for the race, and for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, are…


America's Challenge 2019 Competitors

September 22, 2019

Who are the men and women who will take on one of the greatest challenges in aerostation? Andy Cayton, USA and Krzysztof Zapart, Poland: In the last America’s Challenge, this team did…


America's Challenge Champions Win Gordon Bennett, World Title

September 17, 2019

Congratulations to Switzerland’s Laurent Sciboz and Nicolas Tieche, the 2017 America’s Challenge champions, who are the apparent victors in the just completed Coupe Aeronautique Go…


America's Challenge Competitors Aloft in Gordon Bennett

September 13, 2019

A number of America’s Challenge competitors past, present, and future are in the air right now in Europe, competing in the world’s oldest air race. The Coupe Aeronautique Gordon B…


Race of Champions: 23rd America's Challenge Has Something for Everybody

September 8, 2019

After a one-year hiatus, the America’s Challenge distance race for gas balloons returns to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta with its largest field in this decade. Nine teams…