Tuesday lunchtime update – 'Three strategies emerge'
Stefan Handl, Event Director, gives his thoughts on the race unfolding today. 'The second group will be looking to use the Mistral wind-effect and then exit the mainland of France and continue on to the Mediterranean sea...'
Stefan Handl, Event Director, gives his thoughts on the race unfolding today:
“After a very nice flight yesterday, four balloons landed safely earlier this morning.
“I wonder if they really envy the brave pilots who kept on going and crossed the Alps during the night at very high altitude. Despite the stunning view of Europe's highest mountain under an almost full moon, this is truly demanding because of the very low temperatures and the challenging flying conditions, using supplementary oxygen.
“We now see three very different strategies unveil.
“The current leading group continues to fly along Italy. Later today they will reach the mainland of Italy and we will see if they land south east of Naples or continue to fly even into Greece.
“The second group will be looking to use the Mistral wind-effect and then exit the mainland of France and continue on the Mediterranean sea. This group will benefit from the fact that they have not yet been flying high, and therefore have more ballast left and, possibly, still have all their oxygen supplies untouched.
“The third group may try to head in a southwesterly direction and aim to reach the Iberian peninsula.
“Groups two and three will play for time. Note that one of those pilots, GER 01, is the current holder of the Gordon Bennett all-time record of having flown 92:11 hours.
“Three very different strategies, which we shall closely follow.
“An exiting day. Shortly before sunset today we will see who will dares to go into their third night.”
Photo Credit: Team SUI 02 / Sciboz and Tieche sharing their view from the basket back to the Mediterranean mainland coastline early this morning