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Air Race Classic 2021
By Sandrine Gressard, EAA 1334064
May 2021 – With everything that 2020 has brought on in terms of life-changing reality, confinement, event cancellations, and shutdowns, what a blessing to finally share something good that has come of this "new reality" we are faced with.
Indeed, if it weren't for this global disaster, we wouldn't experience the first-ever heightened participation of Canadian teams in the famous Air Race Classic.
For those of you who aren't familiar with this competition, the Air Race Classic is the epicenter of women's air racing. Pilots range in age from 17 to 90 years old. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds including students, teachers, doctors, airline pilots, business owners, professionals, and air traffic controllers. Race teams, consisting of at least two women pilots, must fly VFR during daylight hours only and are given four days to make flybys at each en route timing point and then land at the terminus. The race route changes each year, approximately 2,400 statute miles in length with eight or nine timing points. This year, ARC has cancelled our traditional race in favor of an Air Derby format, with each participating team choosing their own five-leg, one-day route. The winners will be the team whose time required to complete each leg is the closest to the estimates provided to the organizers. The teams must provide their estimates the morning of the chosen day to race. The rules are quite extensive and electronic logs will be submitted to ensure validity.
Due to this new format, more Canadian teams will take part in this exciting event. At the time of writing this, three teams are fully registered from the Ninety-Nines Montreal chapter:
- Olivia Corriveau, Arianne Aubry-Barbeau, and Ani Plante will be team No. 63,
- Lauren Nagel, Annie Wen, and Rachel Chaput will be team No. 64, the "Montréailes"
- Sandrine Gressard and Gina Hurtatiz will be team No. 88, the "Chiquitas Flyées"
- Two more teams are finalizing their registrations.
Every itinerary will be different and we may not even end up flying the same day, but if you wish to volunteer, support our teams, or simply come see us at one of our stops, please reach out to Sandrine Gressard at firstname.lastname@example.org. As we get closer to early June, each team's itinerary will be finalized, which will also determine our needs for volunteers.
Proposed route for Sandrine's team so far.
The author — Sandrine Gressard.
Classic under wing camping.