America's Challenge Leaders Land, Two Teams Still Flying
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 in a remote area of Ontario, Canada. The pilots are OK and the Command Center staff are facilitating assistance with retrieval of the balloon.
With Team 7's landing, the lead will very quickly pass to the other French team, Eric Decellieres and Vincent Leys (Team 2). Their track has now turned northeastward away from the shore of Lake Superior and they will cross into Canada west of Grand Portage, MN. Meanwhile, lurking about 140 miles behind, is the other team still aloft, the USA's Andy Cayton and Poland's Krzysztof Zapart (Team 1). Last for most of the race, they've improved their position to fourth and appear to be headed towards a podium finish.
This two-team duel -- Team 2 vs. Team 1 -- will play out over the next several hours. You can follow it all on live tracking on the Balloon Fiesta website or via the YB Races appl (download for free and subscribe to Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta).
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