Bal­loon duo end epic trip

Toronto Sun - - NEWS -

LABRADOR CITY, N.L. — A Swiss gas bal­loon team res­cued from woods near the Quebec-Labrador border af­ter a record-shat­ter­ing bal­loon odyssey have started a new jour­ney back to New Mex­ico — this time in a mo­tor home with a trailer in tow.

Ni­co­las Tieche and Lau­rent Sci­boz landed in a re­mote area near Labrador City Tues­day af­ter an epic 3,666-km transcon­ti­nen­tal flight from Al­bu­querque, earn­ing them top spot in the Amer­ica’s Chal­lenge dis­tance bal­loon race.

To claim their prize, the high-fly­ing duo care­fully re­trieved their mas­sive white bal­loon and bas­ket from atop an iso­lated ridge Thurs­day and em­barked on a 48-hour road trip back to Al­bu­querque.

The pi­lots are ex­pected to be greeted with ac­co­lades for smash­ing the pre­vi­ous record of 3,215 km by more than 400 km.

“You get a tro­phy, brag­ging rights, a lot of atta-boys and some great mem­o­ries,” said Kim Ve­sely, a spokesman for the Al­bu­querque In­ter­na­tional Bal­loon Fi­esta.

Eight teams took part in the race, with the top three trav­el­ling more than 3,000 km.


Ni­co­las Tieche, left, and Lau­rent Sci­boz look up from their gas bal­loon ride.

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