The 60th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett will take place from 15 – 24 September 2016 in Gladbeck, Germany, the epicentre of global gasballooning activities which will therefore provide for sure perfect conditions.
The Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett, the FAI World Long Distance Gas Balloon Championship, is the oldest and most prestigious event in aviation and the ultimate challenge for the pilots. It is a story full of adventure, skill, courage, survival and luck. The goal is simple: to fly the furthest non-stop distance from the launch site.
The team which is the glorious winner will bring the competition two years after to their country. The 60th Coupé Aéronautique Gordon Bennett 2014 in Vichy (FRA) was won by the German team Wilhelm Eimers and Matthias Zenge and brought the competition to Gladbeck. In 2015 the competition was won by the Swiss Team Kurt Frieden and Pascal Witprächtiger and will therefore be hosted in Switzerland in 2017.
The international competition was initiated by adventurer and newspaper tycoon James Gordon Bennett Jr. in 1906, when 16 balloons launched from the Tuileries Gardens in Paris, France. Little did the crowd of 200,000 spectators know that this race was to continue throughout the 20th century.
Photo credit: Jean-Pierre Girard