I have been a balloon pilot for over 20 years and primarily fly in the Albuquerque area. If you have any questions about ballooning in general or about the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, post them here and I will try to answer them.
How do they decide where the Gordon Bennet Gas Balloon race begins from? I know it was in Europe this year, but it has been in ABQ before, too.
The country of the winning balloon team hosts the event in the year after the next race. So this year's winning country, Switzerland, will host in 2012. That gives the host country ample time to organize the event. The 2011 event will start from France because they won the 2009 GB.