Swiss balloonists break world record

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Balloonists Laurent Sciboz and Nicolas Tièche have broken the world record for distance travelled in a competitive gas balloon.

The duo, who make up the Fribourg Challenge team, covered a distance of 3,666 kilometres (2,278 miles) in a span of 59 hours and 35 minutes during the annual America’s Challenge competition. They took off on Sunday from Albuquerque in the state of New Mexico and landed on Tuesday near Labrador City close to the border between Labrador and Quebec.

They beat the previous record of 3,400 kilometers set by Belgians Robert Berben and Benoît Siméons in 2005. They also clinched the America’s Challenge title.

Around a dozen people make up the Fribourg Challenge team, including weather specialists. They also benefitted from the expertise of the Fribourg University of Applied Sciences in the areas of balloon physics, numerical simulations to optimise trajectories and the use of sand to control the altitude of the balloon.

swissinfo.ch/ac and agencies


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