10th FAI World Gas Balloon Championship


Here you'll find the most current information about the 10th FAI World Gas Balloon Championship.

Please also take a look at our Discussion Board for additional announcements of the competition organization.

2004/09/20 - A message from Nancy

Nancy Van Huffel
Click to enlarge

Our Belgian gas ballooning friends have relayed a message from Nancy on their webpage at http://www.gasballon.be/script/mt/archives/uk/000317.html. She was very pleased with the painting and the get well wishes she received.

If you want to send her a get well card or a SMS she can be reached at:

Algemeen Stedelijk Ziekenhuis Aalst
tav Nancy Van Huffel - kamer 602
Merestraat 80
B-9300 Aalst

Mobile phone for SMS: +32 474 321 479

2004/09/14 - Peter Krafczyk and Uwe Schneider are the new world champions

Peter Krafczyk and Uwe Schneider
The World Champions Peter Krafczyk (right) and Uwe Schneider
Click to enlarge

The 10th FAI World Gas Balloon Championship is over. Peter Krafczyk and Uwe Schneider from Germany are the new World Champions in gas ballooning. They won the competition with 6019 points, more than 550 points in front of the second team. Astrid Gerhardt and Dominik Haggeney the current German champions reached second place with 5446 points. Mark Sullivan and David Levin scored 5304 points and reached the thrid place.

An interesting and demanding competition is over and all the teams did a great job to reach the best possible scores in 7 tasks. The event will be closed tonight with the awards ceremony at 19:00 local. The full documentation of the event can be downloaded as an Acrobat Reader file from our Documents page.

2004/09/14 - Third flight cancelled

Tonight we also had to cancel the last flight. The wind conditions between midnight and 01:00 did not allow to start inflation of the balloons so that the third competition flight had to be cancelled. We are now waiting for the results to become final once the time limits have expired this morning so that the final results can be published by about noon.

2004/09/13 - Flight today cancelled

Today's flight was cancelled due to unfavourable wind conditions during the day for inflation. The teams will meet tonight on the launchfield to get information about the next filling process. We intend to have a short flight tomorrow morning. The task briefing has been set to 05:00.

2004/09/12 - Further flight planning

Tonight at 19:00 the pilots who are already back in Bitterfeld met with the competition team to get further information on the planning for further flights. Since some teams are expected back in Bitterfeld only on early Monday morning and all teams are lacking sleep it is impossible to inflate the balloons for a morning flight. The wind situation probably will not allow inflation during the day for an afternoon flight. The final decision about the afternoon flight will be made on Monday at 10:00 during a short briefing. Should it not be possible to launch on Monday we will try a short flight on Tuesday morning but this also looks difficult at the moment.

2004/09/11 - Landings in the North east of Poland

Many landing reports that we received this evening show the balloons close to the borders to Kaliningrad or Lithuania. So we will have to wait until the return of all teams to find the winner of the last task. Since the return journey is quite long it is possible that first results can only be published on Monday.

2004/09/11 - Balloons flying through Polish airspace

Tonight the balloons launched into the night sky between 01:15 and 02:25 as scheduled. The winds carried them to the German/Polish border in the area of Frankfurt/Oder. From there the wind will take them south of Gdansk. Further information about landing areas will follow this evening.

2004/09/10 - Balloons launching for 4 tasks into night sky

The balloons will be launching into the night sky over Bitterfeld starting at 01:15. Four tasks have been set by the competition directory Thomas Fink. The first task is a maximum distance within the borders of Germany. After that the pilots can fly to any valid target (a crossing of certain roads in the competition map) of their choice west of a line. The third task of this flight is a Fly On task and finally a maximum distance within the whole competition area.

The scoring period is limited to 19:00 or 17 hours after launch whichever is earlier. The wind direction and speed will allow the balloons to nearly reach the eastern border of Poland within the scoring period so it will be another challenging flight. Pilots and crews will return to Bitterfeld not before Sunday afternoon so Sunday late night will be the first time when provisional results may be available.

2004/09/10 - Next launch will begin around 01:00

The launch for the second flight will take place between 01:00 and 02:30 tonight. The final tasks will be announced at the briefing at midnight.

2004/09/10 - Next launch planned for the night from Friday to Saturday

The next launch of the balloons is currently planned for the night from Friday to Saturday. The pilots will meet for a short briefing at 18:00 to get first information about the planned schedule. We currently expect a launch in the night or early morning. Further information will be available after the briefing at 18:00 local.

2004/09/09 - Balloons flying the first three tasks

15 balloons took of this morning between 06:00 and 07:00 into a clear sky from Bitterfeld. The judge declared goal was set in a distance of about 40 km southwest of Halle. The best result was scored by Mark Sullivan and David Levin who managed to drop their marker only 8.70 meters from the target. Three more balloons scored within 100 meters of the target.

The second task is a maximum distance with 8 hour duration after the first marker drop. The third task is a fly-on for which the target will be declared by the pilot on the marker of the long distance task. The balloons will land before sunset this evening and return to Bitterfeld tonight. First results should be available on Friday late afternoon or Friday evening.

The schedule for the next days is to have the second flight launching in the night from Friday to Saturday. The launch time for the balloons will be announced on Friday.

2004/09/08 - First flight scheduled for Thursday morning

To take advantage of the current weather situation the first flight is currently scheduled for Thursday morning. Inflation of the first balloons will begin tonight at 22:00 local. The task briefing will be at 05:00 tomorrow morning with the launch expected to be at 06:00 local.

See also our timetable for current information.

2004/06/24 - Rules available for download

You can now download the rules for the event from our documents page.

2004/05/11 - Hotel Information

The hotel in Bitterfeld has changed to the Rema Hotel group and is no longer a Mercure Hotel. See our hotel information page for more details.

2004/01/07 - Invitation

We have great pleasure to invite all eligible National Aero Clubs to enter the 10th FAI World Gas Balloon Championships to be held in the City of Bitterfeld, Germany September 8th to September 15th, 2004.

You can download the full invitation document including the entry forms from our Documents page either in MS Word or in Acrobat Reader format.

Please note the entry closing date of March 9th, 2004.