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U.S. Balloon Squeaks In as Race Victor

May 16, 1987|Associated Press

PALM SPRINGS — Two days after declaring a first-ever tie, organizers of this year's Gordon Bennett Balloon Race said Friday that an American entry has become the certified winner by a margin of less than half a mile.

"We continued to receive new information," race spokeswoman Frances Byrne explained after "Cherokee," piloted by Jim Jones of Chandler, Ariz., and Dale Yost of Columbus, Ohio, was declared the winner and new trophy holder.

Late Wednesday, the Aero Club of Southern California said it was too close to call and a tie was declared between "Cherokee" and "Solvay-L.A. Times," piloted by Swiss balloonists Gerald Signer and Werner Pfenninger. Third place went to "Windsong."

But precise computations have since determined that "Cherokee" was the sole winner with "Windsong," piloted by Gordon Boring of Walled Lake, Mich., and Don Davis of Long Beach, Calif., in second, said club chief steward Carl Gates.

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