Balloon Fiesta Park
(For GPS planning only)
5000 Balloon Fiesta Pkwy NE
Our mailing address is
4401 Alameda NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113
Local: (505) 821-1000
The America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race was founded by the Balloon Fiesta in 1995 due to the vision and efforts of Mark Sullivan, former Balloon Fiesta President and recipient of the Montgolfier Diplome (one of ballooning's highest honors), who saw the need for America to be identified with the world's most prestigious ballooning sport.
The America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race is modeled after the Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett, but it differs from the older event in allowing balloons from all countries, without limits on the number of entries from each. The team that travels the longest distance wins.
2012 America's Challenge
2012 Gas Balloon Tracking
Gas Balloon News & updates
In the first America’s Challenge in six years to reach the Eastern seaboard of the United States, Cheri White and Mark Sullivan have officially been declared the winners.
The Command Center has received word that the last balloon aloft in the 17th America’s Challenge race for gas balloons has landed safely.
The Command Center has been advised that Team 2, Russia’s Leonid Tuykhtyaev and Germany’s Willi Eimers, have landed safely near Elkton, VA. Team 3, the USA’s Peter Cuneo and Barbara Fricke, are down safely near Ridgeland, South Carolina.
Three teams, six pilots, and under 200 miles to go. As the day dawns in the Eastern time zone, three America’s Challenge gas balloon teams are inexorably headed towards the Atlantic – and the end game.
The Command Center has received word that the British team of Jonathan Mason and Clive Bailey has made a safe landing about 22 miles northwest of Madisonville, KY.
Four America’s Challenge competitors remain aloft as the race nears the 40-hour mark. The fifth team, Mike Wallace and Kevin Brielmann (Team 1) have landed safely near Kellerton, Iowa on the Iowa/Missouri border.
Mark Sullivan and Cheri White (Team 5) are the new leaders in the America’s Challenge gas balloon race, as the “middle pack” takes charge of the competition – at least for now.
All five teams in the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta’s America’s Challenge distance race for gas balloons are making steady and fairly swift progress over northern Texas.
Approximately 12 hours into the competition, the five America’s Challenge teams are already in Texas and headed eastward in the Amarillo area.
The five teams competing in this year’s America’s Challenge race for gas balloons are busily moving equipment to Balloon Fiesta Park and preparing for inflation in anticipation of a launch this evening.
It’s been a gorgeous morning of ballooning in Albuquerque, and early indications are it will be just as gorgeous tonight as the America’s Challenge distance race for gas balloons moves towards launch.
America’s Challenge race officials have announced the gas balloon launch originally scheduled for tonight (Saturday, October 6) will be postponed for 24 hours due to weather conditions. The launch is now scheduled for early Sunday evening, October 7. The Twilight Twinkle Glow and other Saturday evening events at Balloon Fiesta Park are not impacted by the delay and are continuing as scheduled.
Race officials are “cautiously optimistic” that the America’s Challenge distance race for gas balloons can launch as scheduled Saturday evening, October 6. The launch is scheduled for 6:30 PM (0030Z) at Balloon Fiesta Park.
Five balloon teams representing four nations and featuring some of the world’s greatest gas balloonists are preparing to compete in the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta’s America’s Challenge race for gas balloons. Three of the five competing teams include at least one member who has previously won the America’s Challenge, which should bode for an interesting and highly competitive race.