The Gordon Bennett Cup (or Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett) is the world’s oldest gas balloon race.
The first race started from Paris in 1906, the event being sponsored by James Gordon Bennett Jr., the millionaire sportsman and owner of the New York Herald newspaper. The aim of the contest is simple: to fly the furthest distance from the launch site.
In 2013, France will organise the 57eme Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett in Nancy Lorraine. The rules remain almost unchanged. The winner will be the team that flies the longest distance in a straight line between the start and the landing point. The actual distance flown and the time taken are of no significance. Each country may enter a maximum of three teams, and the winning country has the right to stage the next-but-one race, normally 2 years later.
The record time for the winner of the event is held by Germans Wilhelm Eimers and Bernd Landsmann who remained airborne for over 92 hours in the 1995 race, taking off from Switzerland and landing four days later in Latvia. The distance record is held by Belgians Bob Berben and Benoît Siméons who, in 2005, piloted their balloon 2100 miles from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Squatec, Quebec.
Team GBR-1 is one of two British entries in the 2013 event, piloted by Chris Wood and John Rose, flying in D-OCFT Kandersteg.