Gordon Bennett 2023 Team SUI-1 Wicki/Erni

Team SUI-1 (Wicki/Erni) at the 66th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett 2023 in Albuquerque NM

Operating as usual


What are we expecting for the upcoming weekend in Augsburg (Gersthofen)?

By invitation of the Freiballonverein Augsburg we will participate in the 9th Cup, a yearly friendly competition of eight teams from German speaking countries. Second to the Gordon Bennett Race, this is one of the biggest gas balloon events. Come and watch (https://www.augsburg-ballon.de/startplatz/startplatz-gersthofen/)!

The is mostly favorable, still with the usual instability which is so typical for . With mostly southerly/southwesterly winds, we will, at least, move away from the difficult airspace around and have the opportunity to practice some maneuvers with our new balloon HB-QWV. We will report.

Photos from Gordon Bennett 2023 Team SUI-1 Wicki/Erni's post 07/30/2023

Once more, today, another day in ballooning paradise: a group flight straight over the town center of Todi in Umbria. Awesome flying conditions and a passionate co-pilot on-board...

Photos from Gordon Bennett 2023 Team SUI-1 Wicki/Erni's post 07/29/2023

Fantastic flying conditions in Umbria this morning... the entire pack stayed together, and we've hat the honor to have the President of the Regional Parliament of Umbria in the basket.

Photos from Gordon Bennett 2023 Team SUI-1 Wicki/Erni's post 07/16/2023

Throwback to last weekend: The maiden flight of our new gas balloon HB-QWV - an exciting moment. We departed at Freiballonverein Augsburg and landed nearly nine hours ago only 51km to the NE ... a quiet night and ideal to check out all instruments and devices and get back into the 'doing' ... The next training flights are planned already.


... and we are preparing our material, our logistics and communications, our team collaboration, and we are getting as many training flights under our belt as possible. Super excited to be back in ABQ, soon!

The Gordon Bennett core team is currently meeting in Albuquerque to prepare the launch on October 7. We are excited for a great race!

Photos from Gordon Bennett 2023 Team SUI-1 Wicki/Erni's post 07/08/2023

Take-off for the inauguration flight of our new HB-QWV. Whish us always luck, happy flights, safe landings and friendly landowners


"Morgen, Morgen, Kinder - da wird's was geben... morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann..." Oder so. Könnte auch der Gasmeister sein. 😜


Gestern Abend kam ein weiteres Piloten-Memo für das Gordon Bennett Race 2023. Hier zwei kurze Updates:

1. Auch Kanada wird zum Wettbewerbsgebiet gehören, nicht wie das letzte Jahr an der America's Challenge, wo Kanada in letzter Minute noch geschlossen wurde. Mal sehen, ob das so bleibt - wir bereiten uns darauf vor: Anspruchsvoller Luftraum, und noch viel anspruchsvolleres Wetter anfangs Oktober ...

2. Der Zeitplan wurde nun konkretisiert.

Wir arbeiten weiter und werden uns in den nächsten Wochen primär auf Trainingsfahrten mit unserem neuen Ballon HB-QWV konzentrieren.

Daumen drücken!!

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta


Things start to fall in place slowly .. René Erni and I, as well as our Command Center, are in the early preparations for the GB23 in ABQ, much happening behind the scenes ... more information shortly


🥰😘😍 WARNING!! !! 😍🤩😻
Look what we have found in our 📫 today: A wonderful sweet letter of Claire of with an awesome of Benni Eimers and Balthasar Wicki flying the 'Zurich' 🎈 . So touching! We have never met, Claire - but you have made our day! 🌼🌞Thank you so much! And till soon! PS: My hair has never looked so good!


Still sad that we couldn't get them to a good use last week... but happy to still see the old great lady staring at me....


A huge thank you to all who helped us celebrate these past nine days! Though we would have liked better weather, we loved being able to commemorate 50 Balloon Fiestas with each and every one of you! To our pilots, sponsors, volunteers and staff - we could not have done this without you. We look forward to another 50 years! Additional details related to attendance of this year’s event and information about the 51st Balloon Fiesta, scheduled to take place October 7-15, 2023, will be available in the coming weeks.

Photos from New Mexico Lobos's post 10/09/2022
Photos from Gordon Bennett 2023 Team SUI-1 Wicki/Erni's post 10/08/2022

What to do on another rainy day in New Mexico? After delivering the wooden crate with our beloved gas to the freight forwarder (thank you for your great help, Curt Dahlquist of Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta) Andreas Zweifel and Balthasar Wicki opted for a road trip of far over 500 miles to visit historic sites in New Mexico: Fort Craig, the City of Truth and Consequences with its small heritage museum, White Sand Missile Range, the Museaum at , and, finally, a delightful country dinner at . And, of course, hours of driving through breathtaking open country landscapes as only the U.S. can offer.

Edith and Walter Gschwendtner went practicing a few golf swings at the Arroyo del Oso Golf Club and did local sight seeing in the Sandia Mountain. For all of us a wonderful and relaxing day.

As Benni Eimers reported later at the bar of the hotel, on the field, in the evening, the famous Spical Shapes Rodeo literally fell into the water with over a hundred special shape balloons being soaked in torrential rains of a locally limited thunderstorm and the entire event being evacuated. What a shame, so sad.

Photos from Gordon Bennett 2023 Team SUI-1 Wicki/Erni's post 10/06/2022

At yesterday's Pilots' Briefing many long faces: the inevitable became clear. The launch window comes to an end and Sam Parks, the Event Director, had to call the race off. This was not entirely unexpected, though. The weather development in the last few days moved (at best) sideways and left no other options. More on the weather during these crazy days on https://www.fotometeo.ch/einsatz-fuer-das-verrueckteste-ballonrennen-der-welt-americas-challenge-2022/

So, we emptied the ballast bags, packed the entire equipment up, fixed the wooden crate in which we ship the equipment, put the seats back into the van and accept our fate. We will stay a few more days in New Mexico and make some sightseeing trips.

Thank you to the entire Team SUI Wicki/Eimers America's Challenge 2022 (Benni Eimers, Fabienne Muriset, Hilmar Lorenz, Patrick Harte, Edith und Walter Gschwendtner, Andreas Zweifel), the Event Team, the other teames, particularly Gasballon Team Eimers / Eimers - and to all of you.

Thank you all for following - and (as Arnie used to say) "We'll be back!"

Einsatz für das verrückteste Ballonrennen der Welt: America’s Challenge 2022 - fotometeo Muriset 10/04/2022

Quick update: The tentative launch briefing scheduled for 2000h LT (0200 UTC) just got canceled: No flight tonight resp. early morning. In our opinion a sensible decision of the the race team. We go for dinner...

German readers may want to see the updates of our team's meteo guardian angel, Fabienne, at https://www.fotometeo.ch/einsatz-fuer-das-verrueckteste-ballonrennen-der-welt-americas-challenge-2022/

Einsatz für das verrückteste Ballonrennen der Welt: America’s Challenge 2022 - fotometeo Muriset Geschrieben von: Fabienne Muriset am 1. Oktober 2022 - Abgelegt unter: Anlässe, Dienste, Produkte,Prognosen,Wetter und Klima regional

Photos from alifeofballooning.com's post 10/03/2022

Official pilot picture 2022
Here we are!



Pretty darn accurate, don't you think?


"Rodzinna" fotografia uczestników 25 America's Challenge 📷

Photos from Gordon Bennett 2023 Team SUI-1 Wicki/Erni's post 10/02/2022

Together with Benni Eimers , Edith and Walter Gschwendtner and Andreas Zweifel back from the Pilots' Briefing of today, Sunday 02.10.

As expected by us, there will be NO LAUNCH TODAY. The weather situation remains unfortunate: Humid warm air is being moved northwards from the Gulf of Califoria and, over the Rocky Mountains, is being cooled down by southerly flows in the Northwest. The entire 'soup' is spieced up by cold air in higher air levels which leads to increasing lability, say build up of high convection clouds, thunderstorms and rain shower. As thunderstorms even fas as 150 miles might bring cold air utflows, this leads to totally unpredictable conidtions on the field. More (for German readers) on the fabulous blog of our team meteorologist Fabienne Muriset (https://www.fotometeo.ch/einsatz-fuer-das-verrueckteste-ballonrennen-der-welt-americas-challenge-2022/).

The next Pilots' Briefing is scheduled for tomorrow, Monday, 03.10. at 1400h LT (i.e. 2000 UTC). There is still the hope (and certain indications) that the situation eases up and a launch for flight might be possible around mindnight (local time). However, all pilots and crews realize the efforts of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta event direector (Sam Parks) and his team to keep everybody safe.

Stay tuned - flying log distance gas balloon races remains one of the biggest adventures on earth! Thank you, Fabienne, for the below illustration.


Let's cross fingers for the real one

Photos from Raised New Mexican's post 10/02/2022

An awesome drone sky show this morning. Indeed.


Cool stuff!!!

Photos from Gordon Bennett 2023 Team SUI-1 Wicki/Erni's post 10/02/2022

Today"s Pilots' Briefing for the potential lainch of the Ametica's Challenge Race got postponed from 1200LT to 1500LT (2100 UTC). What that most possibly implies is up to everybody's guess. We will report.

This morning we visited the field in the early morning and enjoyed the excitement of the biggest ballooning party in the World. Tentho6sands of happy faces. Some impressions below.

Stay tuned!

Photos from Gordon Bennett 2023 Team SUI-1 Wicki/Erni's post 10/01/2022
Photos from Gordon Bennett 2023 Team SUI-1 Wicki/Erni's post 10/01/2022

We are back from the Pilots' Briefing: The Launch is postponed for 24h, so the next launch window is on Sunday 2 Oct 2022 in the later evening. A good and sensible decision considering the trajectories which directly lead into the Rockies, the forecasted precipitation and lightnings in the mountains, the potential surface winds for a landing the next morning, and, as well, the gusty conditions forecasted for today evening which would make the filling procedure difficult, or even impossible.

We'll report tomorrow, next Pilots' Briefing is on Sunday, 2 Oct 2022, at 1200h (noon) local time (=1800 UTC).

Cross fingers!!!

Balloon Fiesta Live! 10/01/2022

Balloon Fiesta Live! 2022 marks the 6th year for Balloon Fiesta Live!, the live stream of all 14 sessions of the 9-day event. Once again this year, Glen Moyer and Art Lloyd Jr., will anchor the show from the rooftop studio, with Ruth Lind reporting from the field and Kim Vesely providing updates on America's Challenge.....

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Videos (show all)

Still sad that we couldn't get them to a good use last week... but happy to still see the old great lady staring at me.....
Mental preparation for facing the Great Plains...#AC2022 #teamSUI #AIBF #gasballooning #Albuquerque
What an amazing race this was, and what worthy winners! #grdonbennett #GB2022 #gasballoon #gasballooning
Weil Restaurants alle schon zu: Abendessen mit à la carte Ballon Menüs 😋
Off they go... viel Glück, schöne Fahrt und guet land!





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