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22 December 2006
Gordon Bennett 2006 - The Story
Gordon Bennett 2006 – Belgium
Since the Belgians Bob Berben and Benoît Siméons had won the 2005 race out of Albuquerque the 100th Anniversary of the Gordon Bennett was to take off from Belgium.
It was the 50th edition of the Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett.
17 teams participated:
From Austria: Gerald Stürzlinger & Johann Fürstner
From Belgium: Benoît Siméons & Bob Berben, Luc Van Geyte & Rudy Paenen, Philippe De Cock & Ronny Van Havere
From Canada: Danielle Francoeur & Leo Burman
From France: Vincent Leÿs & Sébastien Rolland
From Germany: Tomas Hora & Volker Löschhorn, Heinrich Brachtendorf & Karl-Heinz Huthmacher, Wilhelm Eimers & Ullrich Seel
From Great-Britain: David Hempleman-Adams & Jonathan Mason
From Russia: Stanislaw Fuodoroff & Sergey Grishin
From Switzerland: Christian Stoll & Walter Mattenberger, Max Krebs & Walter Vollenweider, Kurt Frieden & Stefan Zeberli
From USA: Barbara Fricke & Peter Cuneo, Phillip Macnutt & Richard Abruzzo, Andy Cayton & Dan Suskin.
The team made it back safe and sound, with a lot of nice images in their heads and in their hearts. The weight of icing on the envelope forced us to land in the Norwegian mountains, 77km South East of Bodö. Due to the bad weather conditions, the helicopter was unable to fly, so we spent one night in the cold protected by the basket, and another in a little caban after a long walk. Only Santa Claus was missing…
It was a great pleasure for me and my team to organise the 50th Gordon Bennett, after the great victory of Bob and Benoît last year. Beyond the great organisation, my team realised, the weather was also on our side. All the teams, just one could not launch, made a great and save flight. Congratulations to all the teams. After some thrilling days, with long flights over the North Sea, another Belgian team, Philippe and Ronny, were flying to victory to the upper North of Norway. Congratulations to Philippe and Ronny !