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Media Release

Published: 10/08/2013
Don R. Hartsell, 281-414-8080

“Lighter than Air” Airships to Race Through New Mexico And Around the World

Albuquerque, New Mexico – Airship enthusiasts will gather this week during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta as they gear up to bring an international airship race to the Southwest and New Mexico for the first time.

The Explorer's Club and the local organizing committee for the World Sky Race will meet at the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum on October 11 at 4:00 p.m. to start preparing for the arrival of the airship fleet in March 2016. This program introduces activities in New Mexico that will lead to the state being included on the race route.

With local support and planning, the airships will pass through New Mexico on their way from the Prime Meridian in Greenwich England back to the Prime Meridian in Versailles France. Their route will take them to Africa, the Middle East, across the Indian Ocean to Asia, over the Pacific to Alaska and the western shores of North America, over the continent and across the North Atlantic. The race will complete its final destination by landing in the gardens of Versailles Palace, the very birthplace of mankind's first ascent into the skies above the Earth by a hot air balloon.

“This is a historic opportunity to bring a grand fleet of airships to New Mexico to celebrate and dramatically show the world our stunning landscapes, rich culture and and incredible people. The World Sky Race will provide a unique means to connect the global educational system and we want New Mexico to be part of that. We will welcome the competing airship teams and invite them and all those watching the World Sky Race to discover exactly what makes New Mexico True."

The World Sky Race is a combination of impressive human ingenuity, cutting-edge technology and adventurous spirit. As these competitors race around the world, they will bring the excitement of this race into the classroom. School children will take part in their adventure virtually and obtain a better understanding concerning the importance of green technologies and sustainability.

“A number of events will be scheduled to take place at sites along the fleet’s journey,” said Don Hartsell, Commissioner of the World Air League. “The event is intended to bring global attention to New Mexico as a destination and its important UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Beyond tourism and the epic adventure of racing in airships around the world, the program is about the future. The race will be an agent of change for a sustainable world. New Mexico is unique in the world community for embracing lighter-than-air for adventure and sport, but its commitment to the future is in aviation advancement.”

To learn more or to get involved, visit and
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