Only 50 days separate us from the start of 57th edition of the Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett scheduled to take place in Nancy, France, from 22 to 31 August 2013.
Event Organiser Benoît Pelard said, "Preparations are running smoothly without any major issues. Weekly meetings of the Organising Committee allow us to coordinate and take stock of the situation. We are currently wrapping the budget up, and if all goes according to plans we should be fine in this regard. We are also getting great support from local autorities. Everything is going well so far... touch wood !"
The final list of participating teams is now known: 18 teams have registered to enter the race. Germany, Switzerland and France are the most represented countries with 3 teams each. Amongst the competitors, the participation of particular ballooning personalities can be noted, such as Mark Sullivan from USA, recipient of the 1993 FAI Air Sport Medal, of the Mongolfier Ballooning Diploma in 1997 and 2004 and of the CIA Sporting Badge with 3 diamonds; Nikolay Galkin from Russia, holder of multiple world records; Vincent Leÿs from France, 7-time winner of the race (1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2011 and 2012) and recipient of the 2002 Mongolfier Ballooning Diploma. "I would not be honest if I said that I was not disappointed with the number of participants, as I was hoping to see 3 teams from USA and UK," Pelard said. "I am also sorry that Peter Cunéo and Barbara Frick from USA will not be amongst us this year, and I regret the absence of David Hemplemann-Adams and of Belgian and Dutch teams - it is a shame. Looking on the bright side, we have an Italian balloon with my friend Giovanni Aimo on board: I am glad that Italy has been participating in the Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett for so many years."
The gas balloons will lift off from Nancy, France, thanks to Vincent Leÿs' victory in 2011, as the competition rules state that the country of the winning team hosts the competition two years later. As Pelard explains, "The take-off site has been validated at the time of the test flight and everything related to gates and traffic has been thought through. The football stadium being located beside the take-off site, we even asked the Nancy team not to play at home the weekend of the competition."
The Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett is one of the most prestigious air sport competitions, as well as the oldest - it was organised for the first time in 1906. To win, teams must travel the furthest within the competition area.
|Allemagne||ALL1||Lausch Heinz-Otto||Lausch Marion|
|Allemagne||ALL2||Zenge Matthias||Eimers Wilhelm|
|Allemagne||ALL3||Höhl Josef||Sellmaier Georg|
|Autriche||AUT1||Stuerzlinger Gerald||Herndl Thomas|
|Espagne||ESP1||Gonzalez Anulfo||Aguirre Angel|
|États-Unis||USA1||White Cheri||Sullivan Mark|
|États-Unis||USA2||Wallace J. Michael||Brielmann Kevin|
|France||FRA1||Leÿs Vincent||Houver Christophe|
|France||FRA2||Péterlé Benoît||Moine Hervé|
|France||FRA3||Pelard Benoît||Lajoye Laurent|
|Grande-Bretagne||GBR1||Wood Chris||Rose John|
|Grande-Bretagne||GBR2||Bayley Clive||Spellward Paul|
|Italie||ITA1||Cisaro Enzo||Aimo Giovanni|
|Russie||RUS1||Galkin Nikolay||Bakanov Mikhail|
|Suisse||SUI1||Frieden Kurt||Witprächtiger Pascal|
|Suisse||SUI2||Gschwendtner Walter||Gerber Felix|
|Suisse||SUI3||Mattenberger Walter||Krebs Max|