News & Updates

High Adventure! Photos and Videos from the 24th America's Challenge

October 8, 2021

The 24th America’s Challenge is in the history books – a history preserved on photos, video, and social media. Here is a compilation of interviews shot by our America’s Chall…


It's Official! Forden/Padelt Are America's Challenge Champions

October 7, 2021

Posted Thursday, October 7, 2021, 10 PM MDT (0400Z Friday, October 8) The data is parsed, the tracks are analyzed, the numbers are crunched, and while there were a few little tweaks, the resu…


Forden/Padelt Unofficial America's Challenge Winners

October 4, 2021

Posted Monday, October 4, 2:00 PM MDT (2000Z) Final race results will be released after pilot debriefings and analysis of the tracker data, but unofficially, the winners of the 24th America's…


Some Views from the Teams

October 4, 2021

Posted Monday, October 4, 0830 AM MDT (1430Z) While we wait to see whether Team 4 will prevail or Team 1 will slip into the America’s Challenge lead, we just couldn’t resist sharin…


Race Leaders Land in Texas; The Chase is On!

October 4, 2021

Posted Monday, October 4, 0830 AM MDT (1430Z) The America’s Challenge Command Center has received word that Team 4, Noah Forden and Bert Padelt, have landed safely at the airport in Big…


The Hare and the Tortoise

October 4, 2021

Posted Monday, October 4, 0545 AM MDT (1145Z) As we come towards the finish line of the 24th America’s Challenge distance race for gas balloons, it’s as simple as the old children&…


Team 2 Lands Safely Near NM/TX Border

October 3, 2021

Posted Sunday, October 3, 9:00 PM MDT (0300Z, Monday, October 4) The America’s Challenge Command Center has received word that Team 2, Mark Sullivan and Cheri White, has landed safely ne…


Decision Time! Teams Ponder Whether to Fly Through the Night

October 3, 2021

Posted Sunday, October 3, 5:00 PM MDT (2300Z) As sunset nears in Texas and New Mexico, the three America’s Challenge gas balloon teams still aloft have a big decision to make. Do they w…


America's Challenge Team 3 Lands Near Pecos

October 3, 2021

Posted Sunday, October 3, 10:15 AM MDT (1615Z) The America’s Challenge Command Center has been advised that Team 3, Brenda Cowlishaw and Brian Duncan, has landed safely near Rowe, NM, so…


A Long, Cold Night . . .

October 3, 2021

Posted Sunday, October 3, 6:00 AM MDT (1200Z) Definition of torment (gas balloon race style): Being at 15,000 feet, on oxygen, in the dark, with temperatures in the teens and twenties . . . an…


Big Crowd Cheers America's Challenge Launch

October 2, 2021

Posted Saturday, October 2 9:00 PM MDT (0300Z Sunday, October 3) And . . . they’re off! Flanked by hundreds of inflated hot air balloons participating in an evening glow an all-Americ…


America's Challenge Teams Preparing for 6 PM Launch

October 2, 2021

In the photo: Barbara Fricke and Peter Cuneo (Team 1), Noah Forden and Bert Padelt (Team 4), Cheri White and Mark Sullivan (Team 2) and Brenda Cowlishaw and Brian Duncan (Team 3) Posted Sa…


America's Challenge Launch Scheduled Saturday Evening

October 1, 2021

Posted Friday, October 1 The America’s Challenge is back! If all goes as planned on Saturday October 2, the finest gas balloonists in the United States will take flight in the hopes of b…


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…