Air Race attracts international competitors

The 38th Air Race Classic will begin accepting entries Jan. 2 for the annual transcontinental air race. More than 100  female pilots compete each year.

The Air Race Classic, Inc. (ARC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating current and future women pilots while increasing public awareness of general aviation.

The annual ARC attracts competitors from all ages and regions of the world. In 2013, there were pilots from Kosovo, Japan and Italy who joined US pilots in the four-day air race challenge.

Michelle Bassanesi originally from Sydney, Australia, now living in Rome, Italy, competed in her first ARC with teammate, Gretchen Jahn of Broomfield, Colo., in 2013. The pilots met years ago while participating in the Around New Zealand Air Race (ANZAR). After several years, the two collaborated and decided to compete in the ARC. This marked Jahn’s 17th year to compete in the ARC.

The collaboration proved successful as their team, The Dream Catchers, were Reserve Champions in the race.

The 2014 route will begin in Concord, Calif., on June 16, 2014, and ends in New Cumberland, Pa., three days later with 2,300-plus nautical miles in between. The route changes every year and is a highlight of the year for the female aviators.

Racer entry deadline is April 1, 2014.

To apply, go to AirRaceClassic.org. View the video from the 2013 Air Race here.

Racing for the rest of us

XXXXX and Red Hamilton

With Reno just days away, here’s a way for every pilot to get involved in sport air racing…

Looking for away to practice your airmanship but tired of the $100 hamburger? Maybe it’s time to enter the world of sport air racing.

You don’t need to have a lot of money, a highly modified airplane, or even a great deal of technical skill to compete in these cross-country races.

“The fastest airplane wins,” explains Red Hamilton, a long-time air racer and member of the Sport Air Racing League (SARL). “It’s not like the Reno Air Races where you go around and around pylons. It is cross country air racing. There are turn points along the course. It’s racing for the rest of us.”

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