ABQ gas balloon race in progress

Mark Conner N9XTN


How far is the finish line?


The Original Rolling Ball Clock
Idle Tyme

Hank Riley

Joe >  How far is the finish line?

There is no finish line. 

Google is your friend.   :)

From the excellent FAQ at the excellent web site for this event, the America’s Challenge Race for Gas Balloons (Albuquerque):

What is the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race? The America’s Challenge is one of two distance races for gas balloons in the world.  The other is the Coupe Aéronatique Gordon Bennett, the world’s oldest air race, founded in 1906.  The America’s Challenge was founded by the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in 1995 to provide a consistent American venue for gas ballooning.  The results of the America’s Challenge are used to determine the qualifying U.S. pilots for the next year’s Gordon Bennett.

How do you win? It’s simple: the winner is the team that flies the greatest distance (measured in Great Circle distance) from the launch point, Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque, while competing within the event rules.    

Hank Riley

Wow, four balloons above 13,000 feet and one, Gas 1, around 15.3 and 15.4 kfeet!

"At cabin altitudes above 14,000 feet pilots must use oxygen at all times."

And most people would want to use oxygen before 13 kFeet, so I guess
many in today's race are fully O2 masked up.

It must be doggone cold, too.  Would like to see what they look like
at altitude with respect to clothing.

Just found this relevant info from the FAQ.  No mention of clothing
or heat sources, if any (doubt any allowed for safety reasons).  Surprising
about the "not hungry" effect.

They’re confined in a very small space for three days of what one pilot
drolly terms “aerial camping.”  Almost all the teams say that since they
are on oxygen and not moving around much, they are seldom hungry.