More than 100 air race pilots competing in the 36th annual Air Race Classic descended on the Clermont County/Sporty’s Airport in Ohio last week, after flying a 2,330 nm cross-country course in four days. Starting on June 19, the aircraft left Lake Havasu, Arizona, on a course that would take them east, north, and finally southeast to Sporty’s.
The first racers began to arrive early on Friday, June 22, and continued streaming in throughout the day. While waiting for their fellow racers, the women enjoyed the hospitality of Sporty’s and each other’s company. The winning team, based on fastest handicapped speed, was Dianna Stanger of Fort Lavaca, Texas, and Victoria Holt of Belton, Texas, who flew a Cirrus SR-22.
The race continues the tradition of the transcontinental women’s air race, first held in 1929. After World War II, the race came to be known as the Powder Puff Derby before being reincorporated as the Air Race Classic. Famous participants through the years include Amelia Earhart and Louise Thaden.
“These air racers are a competitive bunch,” says Sporty’s Founder and Chairman Hal Shevers. “Sporty’s was honored to host the terminus in 2001, and we’re glad to roll out the welcome mat for such a spirited group once again.”
As a major event sponsor, Sporty’s was proud to host a hangar party and dinner on Saturday night, officials noted. Air Race Classic participants were treated to musical entertainment by students from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music and a special operatic performance arranged by one of Sporty’s flight instructors who also is a professor of voice at CCM. The evening concluded with a fireworks show.
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