Helen balloon race won in record time

A Kentucky balloonist, Bill Smith, won this year’s Helen to the Atlantic Balloon Race in record time Thursday. He also won the race last year.

Smith cross the finish line, I-95 near the Atlantic Ocean, in six hours, thirty-five minutes, according to WRWH in Cleveland. The race participants had lifted off from Georgia’s Alpine Village at 7:00 a.m. Thursday.

A balloonist from North Carolina, Mark Myer, finished second just minutes behind Smith.

Strong thermal winds were credited for the quick end to the race with some balloonists reporting that they reached 35-40 miles an hour.

So, what’s in it for the winner? Bragging rights and a large beer stein.