America's Challenge

Oct 9, 2017

Five Teams Remain in America’s Challenge


Update 7:00 PM MDT Monday, October 9 (0100Z Tuesday, October 10)

The Command Center has received word from Team 5, Wilhelm Eimers and Sebastian Eimers, that they made a safe landing south of Wausau, WI shortly before 6 PM MDT (0000Z) after a flight of 1,094 miles (1761 km).

The leaders continue to be the Swiss team of Nicolas Tièche and Laurent Sciboz (Team 6), who are about to cross into a remote area of Quebec from a remote area of Ontario, not far south of James Bay.  They’ve traveled about 1,675 miles (2,702 km) and are moving at a breathtaking 69 mph (111 km/hr!).  The current second place team, Americans Peter Cuneo and Barbara Fricke, are crossing north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  They just passed the 1,500 mile mark (2,424 km) and are moving 40 mph (64 km/hr).  The remaining teams aloft in order are Polish/USA team Krzysztof Zapart and Andy Cayton (Team 4), near the junction of Lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan; Americans Cheri White and Mark Sullivan (Team 3, near Toledo, OH), and French team Benoit Pelard and Benoit Péterlé (Team 8, west of Indianapolis, IN).  Zapart/Cayton are about 150 miles behind the lead, but remember that many times teams have come from behind to win the America’s Challenge. 

We are aware of problems with the tracking map and are diligently trying to get it working.  You can still mouse over the balloons and get data for the individual teams.  The status page, accessible from the menu (triple bar) icon in the upper left hand corner of the screen, will give you the race order, distance traveled, speed, and other data (but not altitude, which is kept confidential so as to not compromise the teams’ strategies).  Until we get the problems fixed, we will also periodically post the teams positions periodically in these updates.   The tracking website is http://www.balloonfiesta.com/gas-balloons/gas-tracking, or on the Balloon Fiesta free apps for Android and iPhone.   

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