To get their balloon out of the Vermont woods the helpful citizens of Island Pond suggested Peter Cuneo and Barbara Fricke use a “moose hauler” – a horse specially trained to tow heavy loads (like moose) out of roadless remote areas. The horse, a 16-year-old Belgian named Gold Digger, and owner Dennis Bingham towed the basket and envelope out of the woods to an ac- cessible road in just a couple of hours. Photo courtesy Ray Palmer ‹rac­ing “ystem Changes Coming America’s Challenge deb‚ts ‹o time to –—˜† America’s orld and national hot air balloon Challenge champion Al šels ill be €oined by Andy Baird, the president of Cameron Balloons ’“ and for several years the ‹he America’s Challenge ill chair of the America’s Challenge €‚ry also be moving to a ne trac­- Brian Š‚ncan and Brenda Colisha ing app this year žB ‹rac­ing are necomers to gas ballooning, b‚t provides satellite-based trac­ing America’s Challenge he and his co-pilot, even they have e”perience fl ying o‚t of services for yachting, a‚to racing, Benoît Petérlé, had themselves estab- Balloon Fiesta Par­ ‹hey completed a and a n‚mber of other competi- lished a record for the longest fl ight by training fl ight in Alb‚ƒ‚erƒ‚e in –—˜› tive sports ‹he ˆordon Bennett a French team in their balloon sie and ‹he America’s Challenge as not adopted žB ‹rac­ing a co‚ple of type held in –—˜› beca‚se the end of the years ago Pelard as prescient in another re- competition indo for the –—˜› ‹he ne trac­ing system ‚ses spect this year, the legendary incent ˆordon Bennett overlapped the begin- m‚ch smaller lighteight trac­- eÿs ill indeed ma­e the €o‚rney to ning of the Alb‚ƒ‚erƒ‚e œnternational ers that ill save eight for the Alb‚ƒ‚erƒ‚e to compete in his fi rst Balloon Fiesta Œe are e”cited to once balloon teams and sho‚ld provide America’s Challenge eÿs holds the again host America’s premier competi- more reliable coverage than the record for the most victories …†‡ in the tion for gas balloons and to elcome former system ‚sed by the Amer- Co‚pe Aérona‚tiƒ‚e ˆordon Bennett, o‚r national and international teams the orld’s oldest air race and the orld bac­ to Alb‚ƒ‚erƒ‚e ica’s Challenge œt also incl‚des championships for distance gas bal- a n‚mber of e”citing feat‚res for looning eÿs ill be fl ying as spectators, incl‚ding the ability co-pilot ith his co‚ntryman to lay the balloons’ trac­s over a ‰ric Šecellieres ‹he other n‚mber of map over- international competitors ill lays For the fi rst time, be Pelard and Petérlé, the the America’s Challenge A‚strian team of Christian ill report altit‚de data, Œagner and ‹homas eet, as ell as distance and and three-time America’s d‚ration Challenge r‚nner-‚p Žrys- America’s Challenge tof ‘apart, teamed ‚p ith fans can donload the American Andy Cayton, a žB app for free, andŸor to-time America’s Chal- can follo the progress of lenge champion the race live via the Bal- ‹he ‰‚ropeans ill face loon Fiesta ebsite, a fi ve-team ’“ contingent balloonfi estacom ith a mi” of seasoned vet- erans and fi rst-time com- petitors ‹he veterans incl‚d fo‚r-time America’s Chal- lenge champions Barbara Fric­e and Peter C‚neo, to-time champions Cheri Œhite and Nicolas Tièche and Laurent Sciboz’s remote •ar­ “‚llivan, and –—˜™ third-place landing site outside of Labrador City, Labrador/ fi nishers šoah Forden and Bert Padelt Newfoundland. Both pilots and balloon were retrieved by helicopter. ‹he other to teams are ma­ing their Photo courtesy Laurent Sciboz. 105 PICTURE PERFECT

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