Guildford, UK, 26 September 2010 – Providing the lift for the balloons in this year’s Gordon Bennett Coupe Aéronautique is hydrogen from BOC, the country’s largest producer of industrial gases. The company brought this lighter-than-air gas from across the country to fill all the participating balloons in time for the launch from Bristol on the evening of 25 September.
Each of the 20 participating balloons needs around 1,000 m3 of hydrogen to inflate them. Whereas in hot-air ballooning, the air inside the balloon is heated to provide lift, in this competition it is the hydrogen itself that helps the balloons to rise. The winner will be the team that flies furthest in their balloon.
This is the first time this competition, first staged in 1906, has been held in Britain. It was the idea of American newspaper owner James Gordon Bennett. The winners are allowed to host the event two years later. David Hempleman-Adams and Jonathan Mason won it for Britain in 2008 and they have brought the competition to their home city of Bristol. This year’s race has competitors from 10 different countries and the entry list is the largest ever.
BOC has links to the city going back over 75 years and when the company was contacted about the race, it was natural for BOC to help.
As the UK’s largest industrial gas company BOC was the obvious choice to provide this large quantity of hydrogen for the launch. “We routinely produce hydrogen for a range of industrial processes,” explained Steve Thompson, BOC’s Business Manager - Gases. “Our specialist vehicle fleet brought the gas from our plants around the country in good time to ensure that everything was ready for the start of the competition. A team of BOC engineers was at the launch site to transfer the hydrogen into the balloons.”
World-renowned balloonist Don Cameron, Chairman of the Gordon Bennett 2010 Organising Committee and founder of Cameron Balloons, noted that this year’s event was a real ‘first’ for Bristol. “The UK has never before hosted this event. Bringing together competitors from across the world as well as sponsors has been an exhilarating but strenuous project. Being able to call upon the technical expertise of specialists like BOC has made the task of bringing this spectacular race to Bristol that much easier.”
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Gordon Bennett 2010
The Gordon Bennett race is the oldest aeronautical event in the world and will be starting this year in Bristol. The competition is for old-fashioned gas balloons which will take off on Saturday 25th September and fly for three or four days, perhaps going as far as Finland or Turkey. The greatest distance is the winner. After the race, the teams will drive thousands of miles back to Bristol where the medals and prizes will be presented by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh. www.gordonbennett2010.com
Cameron Balloons Ltd
Cameron Balloons Ltd are the world's largest manufacturer of hot-air balloons. The company make almost every conceivable type of lighter-than-air craft as well as fabric structures, inflatable buildings, exhibition stands, giant product displays, specialised protective packaging and aerial camera platforms. They have developed a new balloon for this race giving greater control of the hydrogen gas used to provide lift to the balloon. Cameron Balloons even manufacture medical products used in the moving and handling of patients. www.cameronballoons.co.uk
BOC is a member of The Linde Group. An industrial, medical and special gases provider, the company supplies compressed and bulk gases, chemicals and equipment. For more than a century the company's gases and expertise have contributed to advances in many areas of everyday life, and industries including steelmaking, refining, chemical processing, environmental protection, wastewater treatment, welding and cutting, food processing and distribution, glass production, electronics and health care. For more information visit: www.BOConline.co.uk
The Linde Group
The Linde Group is a world leading gases and engineering company with almost 48,000 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2009 financial year it achieved sales of EUR 11.2 billion. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards sustainable earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development. For more information, see The Linde Group online at www.linde.com
For further information about this release please contact: Simon Napper, BOC Communications, on +44 7500 815166. Email firstname.lastname@example.org