Track the 66th Gordon Bennett gas balloon race
The 66th Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett has concluded. Team France 2 flew an unofficial distance of 1653.72 miles and are the unofficial winners of the 66th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett. Pilots Eric Decellières and Benoît Havret landed less than 53.9 miles from the coast near Jacksonville, North Carolina at 10:59am MDT, surpassing Team Germany 1 by a difference of 46.1 miles. Team France 2 was airborne for a total of 85 hours and 49 minutes.
Once it is confirmed as an official distance, this will be Decellières and Havret’s first Gordon Bennett championship title. The Team France 2 duo finished second in the 2021 Gordon Bennett, and have two top five Gordon Bennett finishes and four top ten Gordon Bennett finishes to their credit. Decellières, flying with the great Gordon Bennett champion Vincent Lëys, came in second in the 2019 America’s Challenge. This year, the winning team set a distance record for French competitors for this type of distance race.
Team Germany 1 pilots Wilhelm and Benjamin Eimers landed with an unofficial distance of 1607.62 miles; flying for a total of 85 hours and 19 minutes. If the 2023 results are confirmed, this will mark Wilhelm’s tenth 2nd place finish.
Team France 1 flew an unofficial distance of 1466.40 miles, Team USA 1 flew an unofficial distance of 1382.31 miles and Team USA2 flew an unofficial 1210.23 miles. If the results for these three teams are confirmed they will finished third, fourth and fifth in the 66th Gordon Bennett Cup.
The gas balloon pilots and crew will return to Albuquerque for the award ceremony on Saturday, October 14, 2023.
For more information on the 2023 Gordon Bennett gas balloon race, click here. 🗺️