World’s oldest balloon race sets off from eastern France

Posted: August 25, 2013 by JonoShmono "SykOse. Live. Extreme." in Air, Hot air ballooning
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The 2007 Gordon Bennett cup in Belgium

The 2007 Gordon Bennett cup in Belgium

Eighteen hot-air balloons defied difficult weather to set off from the eastern French city of Nancy on the world’s oldest ballon race on Sunday morning.
The Gordon Bennett Cup was started ion 1906 by the founder of the International Herald Tribunenewspaper and bears his name.
 Take-off was delayed 12 hours thanks to the wind, clouds and rain that have hit much of France but a break in the clouds between 5.30am and 6.30am allowed the contestants to start ballooning’s most prestigious race on Sunday.

The winners will be the team that has travelled the furthest in a straight line, regardless of how long it takes them.

That is likely to be several thousands of kilometres and should take them two, three of four days.

The balloons are carrying 1,000 cubic metres of hydrogen and 45-70 12-kilogramme sandbags.

The favourite is title-holder, Frenchman Vincent Leÿs, but he faces several serious challengers from Germany and Switzerland, including 2010 winner Kurth Frieden.

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