Countdown Underway for America's Challenge Launch
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 in high gear!
Pilots are beginning to arrive in Albuquerque, and over the next couple of days they will be checking over their balloons and equipment, filling sandbags, and making sure they have all the supplies they may need for up to four days in the air. They’ll also formally register for the event and receive their credentials and tickets for social events.
The teams will first gather together as a group at 1 PM MDT (1900Z) on Friday, October 4 at the general briefing. (Though most know each other from previous Gordon Bennett and America’s Challenge races, so it’s really a renewal of old friendships.) The briefing includes the formal roll call, presentations by the event officials on essential information the pilots will need for their flight, and – most importantly – a detailed weather briefing. At the end of the briefing, the teams will draw numbers to determine their launch order. The briefing will be followed by the Welcome Party, a chance for the balloon teams and the America’s Challenge officials and staff to relax and unwind before gearing up for the launch.
A second briefing is scheduled for noon on Saturday, which will include a weather update and a decision on whether or not to launch at the scheduled time, approximately 6 PM MDT (0000Z) on Saturday, October 5.
We hope you’ll bookmark the America’s Challenge page on the Balloon Fiesta website, balloonfiesta.com, to follow our regular updates, video broadcasts, and live tracking. To follow the race via your favorite mobile device, download the YB Tracking app (it’s free), and then subscribe to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta race (a.k.a. the America’s Challenge – also free.)
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