University City Projected Winner

Almost unfathomable in today's information age but six days after the 1909 national championship balloon race was hosted by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on June 5 the results were still something short of officially certified. The attached article was published in the Friday, June 10, 1909 Indianapolis News and reports that the University City was the generally accepted winner of the Aero Club of America trophy - but still would not be certified until government officials finished a review of maps the following week.
The final balloon to retire from the competition was the Indiana of Speedway Founder and President Carl Fisher and Captain George L. Bumbaugh on June 7. Since then Aero Club of America officials had gathered information and sought to determine the landing locations of each competitor and their distances from Indianapolis. As reported the previous day in the same paper the determination of a winner was a long deliberation. The winning balloon was piloted by John Berry who was joined in the vessel by assistant Paul McCullough. The New York crew was presented with a special award for the duration of their flight - the longest of all competitors at 35 hours and 10 minutes. The New York was piloted by A. Holland Forbes with assistant Clifford Harmon.
According to this article the winning margin for the University City was 26 miles - but still subject to adjustment pending review. Still even the New York crew had conceded the results. Berry and McCullough had landed near Ft. Payne, Alabama while Forbes and Harmon landed in Corinth, Mississippi which was marginally - but clearly - further north and closer to Indianapolis. The article reports further that the University City traveled 382 miles and landed on the farm of John Meadows. The New York landed on the farm of W.A. Volve 355.5 miles south of Indianapolis.

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