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We WIN Gas Balloon Race

11/10/2008 Jo Bailey News

We WIN GAS Balloon Race

Saturday, October 11, 2008


David Hempleman-Adams, world class explorer and balloon pilot WINS the 52nd Gordon Bennett Cup (the world’s oldest balloon race) on his 52nd birthday! Clive Bailey was his Flight Director and British Team Manager and helped keep David going through the long flight.

The Gas Balloon Race will come to Hyde Park, ENGLAND in 2010 for the first time since the race started in 1906.

David Hempleman-Adams took off Monday morning, October 6th at just after Midnight, our time, from the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta where the 2008 Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race took place. He landed Friday morning 10th October.

David flew with co-pilot Dr. Jon Mason. The rest of his team included Clive Bailey, from  Bailey Balloons who is once again the Flight Director and the British Team Manager, and together with Luc Trullemans (the forecaster) helped work out the best track, keeping an eye on fuel management, pilot rest time, navigation and of course the best winds and altitude that carried them to this incredible victory. The Austrian Team was in second place and in third the Americans.


A delighted David Hempleman-Adams comments: “This year has seen an incredible rise in British sporting triumphs.  As a nation we did extremely well at the Olympics and I am delighted to bring the world’s ballooning crown back to London where we will host the 2010 Gordon Bennett Balloon Race, the world’s oldest balloon race.”

Luc Trullemans (a famous Belgium weather TV presenter and forecaster) gave the team incredibly detailed, often hourly and accurate forecasting for David. Team Manager, Clive Bailey talked to David hourly whilst he was flying up until he landed near Lake Michigan, North of Chicago, which is a flight of 1922 km.

They have spent almost 4 entire days in the air, beating off teams from many other countries across the world.  They are took time to recover after their sleep deprivation!!

By winning, the Gordon Bennett Cup will launch from England, Hyde Park. David came 3rd two years ago, (last year’s race was cancelled) taking off from Albuquerque and landing in Northern Canada.

About the Gordon Bennett Race…see www.balloonfiesta.com

Long before men have tried to fly around the world in a balloon, balloon pilots have tried to capture the oldest and most prestigious prize in aviation, the Coupe Gordon Bennett. Also known as the Gordon Bennett Cup, the goal of this age-old competition is to fly the farthest distance from the launch site.

Adventurer and newspaper tycoon Gordon Bennett initiated this timeless challenge. He sponsored an annual auto race, airplane races and even co-funded Stanley’s expedition to Africa to find Livingston. In 1906 he inaugurated his International balloon race from the Tuileries Gardens in Paris, France before a crowd of 200-hundred thousand. The first winner of the event was an American, Lieutenant Frank P. Lahm. He and his co-pilot flew more than 400 miles to the northeast coast of England.

The second race in 1907 from Saint Louis drew 300-thousand spectators. By 1909, it was 400 thousand spectators in Paris again. Each year, special airmail and other commemorative items were carried. Pilots struggled to stretch their journeys farther. In 1908, the Swiss winners set a world duration record for small gas sport balloons of 73 hours aloft. That record
that would stand for 87 years and not be broken until 1995 when another Gordon Bennett team led by Wilhelm Elmers would raise the bar to 92 hours.

Over the past two decades, the race has moved from country to country, where traditionally, the winning country hosts the next year’s competition.

Each country is allowed to enter their three best balloon teams. Everyone has to use the same lifting gas and similar balloons. Only two balloon pilots can be on board each balloon. Once airborne each team tries to fly farther than any other team, non-stop through days and nights, dodging storms and fighting fatigue. The winners are declared as the best balloon
pilots in the world.

Most Balloon Fiesta events feature hot-air balloons, which usually can stay aloft for only a couple of hours. Gas balloons, use lighter-than-air gases such as helium and hydrogen for lift, and can stay aloft for 60 hours or more. The balloon that flies the furthest – in accordance with the rules – wins. Some flights reach Canada and the U.S. East Coast. The gas balloons inflate in the late afternoon and take off in the early evening – timing that increases the balloons’ flight duration.


Bristol Balloon Fiesta

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Although it was slightly muddy AT times, we enjoyed a fantastic 2008 Bristol Balloon Fiesta so a big thank you TO ALL those who came along TO meet us AND helped the Fiesta celebrate its 30th anniversary.
AS Thursday fell INTO darkness the famous Nightglow lit up the skies! Balloon burners roared along IN TIME WITH the music AND the crowd were truly amazed. The SHOW was topped off WITH an impressive firework display that could be seen across the City of Bristol. http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/1/hi/england/7547242.stm
Our fleet of balloons, which included, Original 106.5, EDF Energy, DS Smith Packaging, Klober, Discovery Channel AND Bailey AND Bailey Balloons, took part IN a huge mass ascent WITH 100 other balloons ON the Friday evening. Our passengers waved down AT the crowds AS they gently lifted AND drifted away FROM the arena alongside so many other balloons AND have a thoroughly fantastic flight experience, SOME of which have already booked FOR NEXT YEAR!
Saturday morning allowed another mass ascent AND THEN came the rain AND unfortunately flying was suspended ON the Saturday evening AND Sunday, although there were plenty of arena EVENTS TO keep the hungry crowds entertained. See how the weather affected this YEAR’s Fiesta http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/1/hi/england/7549168.stm
Red Arrows wowed crowds AT the 2008 Fiesta
AT 16.00hrs ON the Sunday afternoon the crowds gathered waiting FOR the arrival of the Red Arrows. The aircrafts SET hearts racing AS they passed over the arena WITH pinpoint accuracy. The display proved the perfect finish TO the 30th anniversary celebrations.
The dates FOR NEXT years Fiesta have been announced AND we are already looking forward TO the 2009 Fiesta, which will take place BETWEEN the 6th-9th August 2009

Original 106.5 Bristol

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Original 106.5 balloon joins the Bailey Balloons fleet


We are proud TO welcome the Original 106.5 balloon TO our fleet of hot air balloons! Built AT the Bristol Camerons factory AND WITH 350,000 cubic feet of beautiful bright red material it IS easy TO spot over the city of Bristol AND really IS the Rolls Royce of ballooning WITH passenger seating FOR a FIRST class ballooning experience! The Original 106.5 balloon took its maiden flight ON Thursday 3rd April 2008.

Original Bristol 106.5 fm IS the NEW radio station wowing Bristol WITH its refreshing take ON LOCAL commercial radio. Bristol’s Original 106.5fm is 100% locally produced and presented, and features a 24-hour local news service (including an extended 10-minute news bulletin each weekday afternoon).


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