The Gordon Bennett 2010 race is delighted to have Sir Richard Branson as one of its two distinguished patrons. Sir Richard, a balloonist himself, had the following message for the race and its competitors:
It gives me great pleasure to be patron of the 2010 Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett, the world's oldest aeronautical contest. This is the first time that it has taken place in the United Kingdom in its 104 year history.
The pilots will be airborne for three or four days without landing and, in seeking to fly the greatest distance, will go for thousands of miles crossing several countries. I know from some of my own long-distance balloon flights what a challenge and adventure this can be. I will be watching the live tracking on the web site with great interest.
I hope the balloonists will have a long and safe journey and that everyone will enjoy the spectacle of the launch day and follow the event to its conclusion.