Dr. Link Wins Handicap Trophy

This image appeared in the June 8, 1909 Indianapolis Star as part of their coverage of the Aero Club of America's national championship balloon race hosted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In addition to the national championship event a handicap race was staged between three balloons (the Indianapolis, the Chicago and the Ohio) that did not meet the specifications of the national championship event's rule book. This image ran in support of an article that reported on how Dr. Goethe Link and his assistant Russe "R. J." Irvin won the handicap trophy. Departing from the Speedway at 4:15 PM on Saturday June 5 they landed in Westmoreland, Tennessee at 11:15 AM the next day, June 6. It was not until they arrived in Louisville on June 7 did they see a newspaper sharing news of their success. They had covered 250 miles in their balloon - the Indianapolis. This handicap event was for balloons that were either too small or too large for the rules of the national championship. The national championship was for balloons not larger than 78,000 cubic feet in capcity and not less than 50,000. The Chicago had a capacity of 110,000 cubic feet while the Indianapolis and Ohio were both 40,000.
Dr. Link, an Indianapolis surgeon but also a passionate balloonist, made such an impression on this arena of aviation an observatory was named in his honor.

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