The 2009 Gordon Bennett Race was fantastic!

  GB1Balloon Track 2009 GB
      Photo Courtesy of Tim Baggett!                                                                  Photo from website.

LATEST NEWS  - Unoffical Results: 

  1. FRA 1, Sébastien ROLLAND / Vincent LEYS
  3. USA 2, Mark SULLIVAN / Cheryl WHITE


Ranking Team Distance
1   FRA 1 1587 km
2   SUI 1 1570 km
3   USA 2 1528 km
4   USA 3 1295 km
5   SUI 2 1179 km
6   GBR 2 1105 km
7   AUT 1 1044 km
8   BEL 1 1043 km
9   FIN 1 1041 km
10   SUI 3 935 km
11   GER 3 750 km
12   GER 1 711 km
13   GER 2 709 km
14   GBR 1 521 km
15   FRA 2 484 km
16   USA 1 470 km

09.09.2009 Update

Live Tracking 09.09.2009 @ 0620 UTC

 The French pilots Sebastien Rolland and Vincent Leys are approaching the Portugese airspace these minutes. They are now airborne since more than 80 hours.

Now, as the landing positions of all other teams are known, these two pilots will certainly try to benefit and fly "just" a little bit further. But that should not be an easy task. The sun will quickly heat the land and create convection and gusts will be challenging the pilots. Meteo in the area also needs to be monitored closely.

09.09.2009 (Stoll/Mattenberger) made stand-up landing

A very memorable flight. Congratulations to the swiss pilots Christian Stoll and Walter Mattenberger for their great flight!

After 80:01 hours flight-time and a distance of 1179 kms (preliminary results) a stand-up landing marked the end of the journey across 4 countries.

Christian Stoll also is the record-breaking participant in the long tradition of the Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett. No other pilot represented his country more often than Christian Stoll (21 times, 19 flights, 1988-2009).

09.09.2009 0430: Team SUI 1 (Frieden/Witpraechtiger) landed safely

Finishing a spectacular flight! Kurt Frieden reported about a safe landing. The two pilots terminated their flight across Europe in huge eucalyptus fields within 10 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. After a good hour walk, Kurt reached a road close to the Portugese village of Marmelete where local help and crew should be with him shortly.

The two pilots were the last to take-off in Geneva (23:17 on 05.09.) and now achieved a distance of about 1570 km straigt line in 77:13 hours (preliminary).

09/08/2009 update:

Team USA 2 (Sullivan / White) landed. Thank you for a spectacular flight!

Team USA 2 landed in southern Portugal. Pilots Mark Sullivan and Cheryl White as well as the other three teams still flying are to be congratulated for one of the most tactical flights in the long tradition of the Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett. A flight containing all the elements of a long-distance gasballoon flight.

Team GBR 2 (Folkes / Rich) landed after a great flight

Pilots Janet Folkes and Ann-Ruth Rich probably did the longest flight ever performed by a women-team. They landed safely on Spanish soil. Their retrieve crew is close by. All is safe and sound. By the way: this was flight number 2 for Ann-Ruth.

USA 3 (Cayton / Canders) concluded their flight in Spain

We just (19:30 loc / 1730 UTC) received the confirmation about the landing of pilots Andy Cayton and Sam Canders. In almost 68 hours these two pilots flew about 1300 km straight-line distance from Geneva to the NW of Cordoba.


09/07/2009:  2:30 cst Update

Teams FIN and FRA landed in Algeria

Team USA2 (Sullivan/White) made a turn around the beautiful Baleraric islands. They are expected to head along the Spanish coast and will try to make landfall later today / tonight. It is not an easy task.

All the other teams (GBR1, FRA1, USA3, SUI 1, SUI2, SUI3) are in the area of Barcelona - Valencia and will also try to enter Spanish mainland during the final stages of the race.

Team SUI 3 (Krebs/Vollenweider) landed close to Valencia

USA 1 (Fricke / Cuneo) landing in France confirmed

At 06 UTC / 08 loc the US pilots Barbara Fricke and Peter Cuneo landed their balloon SE of Perpignan close to the city of Villeneuve-de-la-Raho, less than 10 km away from the coastline.

07.09.2009 Team GBR1 landed safely at 01:40 (monday) 

Pilots David Hempleman-Adam and Simon Carey landed safely in the NE of Spain.

At 06 UTC / 08 loc the US pilots Barbara Fricke and Peter Cuneo landed their balloon SE of Perpignan close to the city of Villeneuve-de-la-Raho, less than 10 km away from the coastline.

9/6/2009  6:00 am  CST .   All the team are over water at this time.     Heading towards Africa.   

09/06/2009  2:00 pm CST   13 balloons still flying.   All are looking for somewhere to land because Africa means disqualification.

As of this time the following balloons have landed:

GER 2 (Hora / Loeschhorn) confirmed safe landing on Menorca

GER 1 (Eimers / Seel) also on safe grounds in Menorca.

FRA 2 (Villey / Pelard) landed near Perpignan

GER 3 (Hoehl / Sellmaier) reached Sardinia

For Live Tracking check out this link:

The official Gordon Bennett URL is:

Here's an alternate one that is supposed to be only for pilots and officials, but is has more English and less French and for now is open to everyone.

Here's the map of countries they are allowed to fly into or over.  Forbidden countries include Ukraine, Turkey, Africa, Iceland and all of the Serbo-Croatian region.  This might still change.  Stay tuned.