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.
Update 1 PM MDT (1900 UTC) Wednesday, October 7
The 20th America’s Challenge for gas balloons will not be held, due to the wet and unstable weather pattern that has persisted over New Mexico since the beginning of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
Update 1 PM MDT (1900 UTC) Tuesday, October 6
Seven international teams poised to compete in the 20th America’s Challenge distance race for gas balloons are ready and raring to go, but Mother Nature still has other ideas. The race has been postponed yet again, and the pilots will meet at 12 noon (1800 UTC) on Wednesday, October 7 in the hopes the race can launch Wednesday evening before the launch window closes.
Update 1 PM MDT (1900 UTC) Monday, October 5
The wet and unstable weather pattern across the American Southwest persists, and so are the postponements to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta’s 20th America’s Challenge distance race for gas balloons.
Update 12:15 PM Sunday, October 4
Unsettled weather across New Mexico continues to plague the prospects for a launch of the 20th America’s Challenge distance race for gas balloons. After reviewing weather forecasts this morning, race director John Petrehn and his staff have decided to postpone the launch for at least one more day. The Sunday evening Balloon Glow and other Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta events remain on schedule.
The launch of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta’s 20th America’s Challenge distance race for gas balloons has been postponed for at least 24 hours.
(For GPS planning only)
5000 Balloon Fiesta Pkwy NE
4401 Alameda NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113
Local: (505) 821-1000