The America’s Challenge congratulates Wilhelm and Benjamin Eimers of Germany, the world champions of distance gas ballooning after their win in the 2022 Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett. The team made a daring, 1,572.36 KM (977.02 miles) flight from St. Gallen in Switzerland to the Black Sea to claim the championship, Willi Eimer’s fifth, ranking him fifth all-time in the number of Gordon Bennett wins. It is also the first time a father-son team has ever won the Gordon Bennett.
We look forward to seeing Willi and Benni in Albuquerque, where both are scheduled to compete in the 2022 America’s Challenge!
The field is set for the 25th America's Challenge gas balloon distance event. Eight teams representing 5 countries are making preliminary preparations to participate in this prestige event. Lifting off from a common launch site on Balloon Fiesta Park, the idea is to fly further than any other team. If they do, they win! The 25th America's Challenge is scheduled to launch at 6 pm on Saturday, October 1, 2022, with inflation starting a few hours before. Bookmark this page so you can follow the preparations and track the flights once they get airborne.
The America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race is one of the world's two premier distance races for gas balloons. It is modeled after the Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett, the world's oldest air race and the world championships for distance gas ballooning. The competition is simple. The team that travels the farthest distance wins.
America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race was founded by the Balloon Fiesta in 1995 through the vision and efforts of Mark Sullivan, former Balloon Fiesta president and recipient of the Montgolfier Diplome, one of ballooning's highest honors. Sullivan saw the need for America to be identified with the world's most prestigious ballooning sport. We are proud to provide a showcase in the United States to share the adventure and spectacle of gas ballooning.