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The Queen's Cup Balloon Race


Gold Medal 1st Place Richard Parry321.47 km
Silver Medal 2nd Place Dominic Bareford319.98 km
Bronze Medal 3rd Place Andrew Holly283.70 km


The BBAC is delighted to be chosen by the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom to run the competition for the Queen's Cup in 2013. The Queen's Cup is the oldest sporting trophy in the UK, dating from 1719. It has the Royal Arms on one side and the words “The Queen’s Air Race Challenge Cup” on the other. It was presented by Prince Andrew to the RAeC in 2010, is to be awarded for air racing, and is open to any member Association within the RAeC.

Past Winners

In 2011 is was awarded by the The British Aerobatics Association to Sgt Phillip Burgess. In 2012, it was awarded by the British Microlight Aircraft Association to Dan Curtis, who "took off from Wolverhampton very early on, in his modified Chaser, and flew all the way to Dundee and back by lunchtime the next day".
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The 2013 Event

The RAeC awarded the BBAC the right to run the competition for 2013. The BBAC won this right against strong opposition from the BMAA and the BGA. The event ran over the weekend of 5th/6th October 2013.

What's It All About?

The competition involved all the participants launching from the same place, Queen Square, in Bristol. Aeronauts flew as far as they can, before the end of the competition (4pm on Sunday afternoon). They were allowed to land to refuel the balloon, and should have taken off from the same field where they land (but are allowed to move the balloon if it proves to be necessary, as long as the next take-off site is closer to the starting point of the race than the previous landing site). There must have been two or more people in the basket, and there was a maximum size of balloon that can be used, with a maximum altitude imposed and transponders banned to prevent some balloons having an unfair advantage. Pilots must have carried an onboard logging device, and observers were used, who reported the takeoff and landing details of every balloon to the competition centre.

At the end of the allowed time period, the balloon who had travelled furthest in a straight line from the common launch point was the winner. This means that only the pilot's furthest landing point was considered in working out the distance flown, rather than adding up all the individual flights made to get there.

Competitors of any nationality could have entered the competition, but only a British citizen could be awarded the Cup.

The rules are available by following the links at the top of this article.

During the event we had almost-live tracking in operation, so that the race could be followed in real time.

Queens Cup Update 16th September 2013228.72 KB