02 Sep 2011

55th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett

The launch of the 55th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennettwill take place in Gap-Tallard in the Hautes Alpes on September 10th or 11th 2011.

105 years after the first race which took off from the Tuileries Gardens in front of 100 000 spectators, Gap-Tallard will, for the first time ever, host the oldest air race in the world, the famous Gordon Bennett Cup in Ballooning.

Event Web site

Schedule Event
Sept. 8th:
15:00 - 17:00 Check-In
18:00 - 20:00 General Briefing

Sept. 9th:
all day: getting ready, ballast etc.
18:00 Meteo-Briefing
19:30 Opening Ceremony / Drawing of Launch Sequence

Sept. 10th:
12:00 Briefing
14:00 Start Inflation
20:00 End Inflation
21:00 Briefing
22:00 Launch

There will be a possibility to follow the race on real time: stay tuned!


James Gordon Bennett Jr. was the son of an American press magnate who founded the New York Herald. Keen sailor, he won the first trans-oceanic Yacht Race in 1866 before taking over from his father and founding the famous International Herald Tribune.
He settled in Paris from where he conducted his business. His enthusiasm for sports led him to finance various fashionable and popular events that enabled his newspapers to report from behind the scenes and to obtain exclusive interviews with the various participants.
In addition to backing various adventurous expeditions, he founded the Gordon Bennett Cup for international yachting and in 1900, the Gordon Bennett Cup for automobile racing,which was the precursor for the automobile Grand Prix that we know today. In 1906, he provided the capital and a trophy for the first air race known as the Gordon Bennett Cup, which was launched from the Tuileries Gardens with 16 balloons taking part.
As was the case for the automobile races, the event in the following year is hosted by the winner of the previous year. This is the reason that France in Gap-Tallard hosts the 2011 edition.
One can only imagine what this flight of balloons will be like: taking off at night for an unknown destination, lit by a full moon, with the Alps and the Tallard Castle as a backdrop.

Our motto is "To Fly, to Dream, to be Free", come and share it with us...

Organisation and Contacts

Entity: : Association Carnavol Tallard – France
and Federation Francaise d’Aerostation, 6 rue Galilée 75016 PARIS
Main contact: ffa@ffaerostation.org and/or martine.besnainou@wanadoo.fr