Flying in a balloon in competition or for recreation. Sport ballooning began in the early 20th century and became popular in the 1960s. The balloons used are of lightweight synthetic materials (e.g., polyester coated in aluminized mylar) and are filled with hot air or lighter-than-air gas. Balloon races often involve tasks such as changing elevations or landing on or near a target. Competitions are regulated by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. The first transatlantic, transcontinental, and transpacific balloon flights were achieved in 1978, 1980, and 1981, respectively. In 1997–98 international teams began competing to become the first to balloon nonstop around the world. This feat was finally accomplished in 1999 by the Swiss psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard (grandson of famed physicist and balloonist Auguste Piccard) and his British copilot Brian Jones, who spent 19 days in the air.