59th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett – Preparations in Full Swing !
7 hours to go until the take-off of the FAI World Long Distance Gas Balloon Championship. The launch of the 17 Teams representing 8 Nations is scheduled for today Friday, 28 August at 22:45 CEST (21:45 UTC) at the Horserace tracks (Hippodrome de Pau).
Pilots will have to inflate their balloons in very high temperatures, the forecast calls for 35 degrees centigrade.
In perfect weather conditions the teams are expected to launch into a moon-lit sky and take a heading to the North East. National anthems being played for each team will add to the emotional departure into the night-sky over Southern France. Within 45 minutes all teams should be airborne.
Please find following the Launch Sequence that had been drawn yesterday during the Opening Ceremony.
Phillipe De Cock
Open and Closed Countries
The Event Director also announced the final decision on open and closed countries for this Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett.
The website gordonbennett.aero will provide 24/7 live tracking with all the updates on the pilot’s routes. The chatbox on that tracking page offers the opportunity for comments and encouragements for the teams while flying in European skies.
The Swiss broadcaster La Télé will offer a live streaming of the launch today from 22:00 and will broadcast special programmes on over the weekend at 18.00.