Top Gun balloon club holds 2023 Rio Grande Classic

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Top Gun Competition Balloon Club hosted the Rio Grande Classic over the weekend. 

“A race is not a race for time or distance, a race is all about navigation, getting from point A to point B,” said Maury Sullivan, the Rio Grande Classic event director. 

In March, the club had to cancel plans at Double Eagle Airport when a random spring snow came into town.

Luckily, balloons were able to take off Saturday morning to compete and hit their targets with their markers in decent weather.

“Top Gun as an organizer has had a lot of trouble with weather getting practice flights in and that kind of thing, but this weekend the weather looks pretty good,” said Sullivan.

With a successful competition the top pilots can qualify for an even bigger event.

“The winner of the state championship and the top three finishers in the regional championship are eligible to win places for next year’s U.S. National Championship, that’ll be in Longview, Texas,” said Sullivan.