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America's Challenge pilots to pay tribute to missing balloonists

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The America's Challenge gas balloon race will pay tribute to two balloonists who disappeared last week in the Adriatic Sea.

The deputy director of the race, Kevin Knapp, says pilots are being asked to hang two chile ristras from their balloons, which are to lift off Wednesday evening from Albuquerque.

One ristra will pay tribute to Richard Abruzzo of Albuquerque, while the other, with a pink ribbon, will pay tribute to Carol Rymer Davis of Denver.

Race organizers also want pilots to release small white balloons before the race to honor Abruzzo and Rymer Davis.

Knapp talked about the tribute during Tuesday's regular pilots' briefing at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta under way this week.

The Italian coast guard on Monday called off the search for the pair.