Day 2 roundup: 5,000m, 50km/h and a long night ahead
Five balloons are left in the race after a day that has seen the three leading pilots stretch ahead by several hundred kilometres, and many others landing after some 40-hours of flying...
Five balloons are left in the race after a day that has seen the three leading pilots stretch ahead by several hundred kilometres, and many others landing after some 40-hours of flying.
Team ESP-1 and SUI-2 have been battling it out neck-and-neck after crossing the Alps at night and flying out into the Mediterranean as dawn broke.
Since then they have been riding a 40-50km/h wind at around the 5,000m mark, travelling south while on oxygen, chewing through the miles. The At 7.30pm local time both lead pilots were at around the 1,450km mark.
Some 70-80km behind, but also in the same airflow at 5,000m is Team SUI-1.
Still in the air, but several hundred kilometres behind are team AUT-1 and POL-1.
FRA-3, USA-1, POL-2 and GER-1 all landed this afternoon. GER-1, Eimers / Zenge, was one of the favourites in the race – pilot Wilhelm Eimers has now competed in 26 Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennetts.
The race now enters its third night – sunset at this time of year in the south of Italy is around 7pm. With the three leading teams all high, it looks like they will be racing on through the night and into the morning.
Photo: It’s not only a long night for pilots. Each team has its supporters and race HQ, often in their home country. This was the scene in Switzerland this evening as the SUI-2 support and meteorology crew discussed the race. Credit: Fribourg Freiburg Challenge / Facebook