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Take another view of the competition on the organiser's Web Site - and view all the social media c...

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until 30 November 2014 2014 Liga Nacional de Parapente Taucho Taucho (Spain)
until 02 December 2014 4th FAI World YAK 52 Aerobatic Championship Mossel Bay (South Africa)
until 02 December 2014 1st FAI World Intermediate Aerobatic Championship Mossel Bay (South Africa)
until 07 December 2014 5th Dubai International Parachuting Championship Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
until 30 November 2014 2014 Special Swoop Pro Competition - DISL Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

Upcoming Events

05 December 2014 2014 Campeonato Argentino - Mendoza Cerro Arco (Argentina)
07 December 2014 18th Open de Canarias de Ala Delta Lanzarote, Gran Canaria (Spain)
08 December 2014 43rd Thailand National Games Paragliding Open Nakhonratchasima Province (Thailand)
13 December 2014 2014 Western Cape Open 2 (WCO14-2R) Porterville (South Africa)
14 December 2014 2014 Open Placivel Placivel (Venezuela)
19 December 2014 2014 Hanukkah open - Category F1 - Free Flight Orim (Israel)
20 December 2014 2014 Nepal National League Pokhara (Nepal)
01 January 2015 2015 Forbes Flatlands Hang Gliding Championships / Australian National Hang Gliding Championships Forbes (Australia)
02 January 2015 2015 Andes Open Merida (Venezuela)
03 January 2015 2015 FAI Qualifying Sailplane GP Worcester (South Africa)
05 January 2015 2015 Final CNM de Parapente 2014 Escuela Aventura Valle A.C. Valle de Bravo (Mexico)
09 January 2015 2015 Paraski World Cup Series, 39th Austrian Nationals Paraski & 3rd ÖHSV Championship St. Johann (Austria)
10 January 2015 14th FAI World Paragliding Championship Roldanillo (Colombia)
24 January 2015 2015 FAI Qualifying Sailplane GP Vitacura (Chile)
24 January 2015 2015 Hombres Pajaro Colombia Santa Elena (Colombia)
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Latest FAI World Record Claims

15 November 2015 Parachuting : Longest sequence : 23 formations
22 November 2014 Parachuting : Largest head-up formation : 52 parachutists
21 November 2014 Parachuting : Largest head-up formation : 44 parachutists
21 November 2014 Parachuting : Longest sequence : 23 formations
17 November 2014 Parachuting : Large freefall formation : 34 parachutists
16 November 2014 Parachuting : Large freefall formation : 26 parachutists
12 November 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a Commercial Airline Route : 960 km/h Larry D. Mccarroll (USA)
05 November 2014 Parachuting : Distance : 169.19 m Nicolas J. Batsch (USA)
05 November 2014 Parachuting : Distance : 103.58 m Maxine Tate (GBR)
05 November 2014 Parachuting : Speed over a 70 m course : 2.784 sec Maxine Tate (GBR)
05 November 2014 Parachuting : Distance : 169.19 m Nicolas J. Batsch (USA)
05 November 2014 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Straight distance : 478 km Donizete Baldessar Lemos (BRA)
05 November 2014 Parachuting : Distance : 124.96 m Manoel Pereira Maciel Neto (BRA)
04 November 2014 Parachuting : Distance : 167.90 m Pablo Hernández (ESP)
04 November 2014 Parachuting : Distance : 161.50 m Cornelia Mihai (UAE)
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11th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett - Geneva (SUI) 1922

Start: Geneva, Sunday, August 6th        

From the Book: Die Gordon Bennett Ballon Rennen
(The Gordon Bennett Races) by Ulrich Hohmann Sr

The two Swiss officers, Paul Armbruster and Louis Ansermier, had brought the race to this alpine country for the second time after 1909. As the winners in 1908, Schaeck and Messner, tried to succeed separately in the following race, but none of them managed to do so. Good teams should not be torn apart, there are only a few examples, where both took profit from this. Of course, the second man in the basket is in the shadow of the fame, so it is understandable, if he wants to show up in the list of the winners as pilot-in-command by himself.

Favourites of course were the Belgian Ernest Demuyter and the American R. E. Honeywell. Demuyter had kept his second man in the basket from 1921, when he had to bury his hopes for victory because of the soldier who involuntarily travelled with him. We will meet Veenstra several times later. Honeywell would have earned the victory, it should have been his turn. He takes part for the fifth time, in both 1913 and 1920 he reached second place. Now he had chosen Wade as co-pilot, who had reached rank 2 with Lahm in 1911. Bienaime, winner of 1912, and Labrousse, co-pilot of Demuyter at his first victory, also were considered as candidates for the first places by the experts.

For the Swiss competitors the president of the aero-club had the idea for a special incentive. For the best fellow citizen he offered the brand new balloon "Thuna" of 900 cubic meters as prize, but only if he would rank among the first five.

The town of the League of Nations did everything, to deal with the race in the best organising manner. The list of the officials contained totally 228 names. Never before a race was hold so early in the year, probably they wanted to spare the cold nights in September or October from the participants. Doing this, one had to accept that thunderstorms could endanger the balloons. In mid-summer these weather conditions are met more often than in fall. From August 1st on the competitors were in town, from then on the count down was running. 50.000 cu m of gas was necessary for the inflation of the 19 balloons, now everybody hoped for success. Weather was quite good in the beginning, so many spectators came to the launch field, but not the same amount as in Zurich in 1909.

Low ground winds allowed inflation of the balloons without any problems, at altitude it blew quicker, promising long distances. But before launch, the situation got worse. Those who took off first flew quite well, the latter ones had to fight with thunder and snowstorms. Several balloons were forced back to earth quite soon after launch. So the still excluded Germans and Austrians could see landing balloons on their territory. For six balloons, the flight ended in Austria, five came back to earth in Germany, of course none of them had any influence to the results on the first ranks.

But the Germans had other problems in those days. Their inflation meanwhile had grown to an avalanche. At the beginning of August, the change for one dollar was 860 marks, at the end of the month it was noted already with 1990 marks.

Back to the race: Demuyter used his proved tactics. Go at once to a high altitude, where the fastest wind is. His average speed was 53,3 km/h. Only in one race till then, the winner was even faster: Hans Gericke flying from Kansas City in 1911. In 1912, from Stuttgart, snowstorms are reported, but the average speed of the winner was "only" 47,9 km/h. Although the speed is not measured in a Gordon Bennett Race and therefore has no influence in the ranking, those who find the fast layer and can keep the balloon in it create the foundation for their victory. This becomes clearly visible comparing Demuyter with Honeywell, ranking second again. Honeywell flew half an hour longer, but more than 300 km shorter.

From this flight, Ernest Demuyter gave a report in his book "Randonnées Victorieuses BELGICA". Who could tell more authentically?

Report Demuyter

Escaped BELGICA was never found. Demuyter was still in Bucarest when he received a comforting telegram from his King Albert I.: "When you return to Bruxelles, receive my warmest congratulations for your wonderful victory. With this success in aviation you have made a big contribution to the tradition of the Belgian people, to show courage in the moment of decision!" So the financing of a new BELGICA should be sure. It was and the balloon rushed from victory to victory in the following years.

Captain Paul Armbruster became seventh as the best Swiss competitor, so he was not among the first five. The brand new balloon "Thuna" from the Swiss aero-club was given to the balloon department Romande in Lausanne, as it had been decided before if such a case would happen. The Lausannians felt as if they had got the jackpot in a lottery.

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