Results are in!
And the good news is: out of nine legs in this race, my partner and I earned a 2nd-place in two of them; Leg #3 and Leg #5. Unfortunately, it was not enough to get us even in the top ten - we finished 17th - but man, what a race, and improvement for me over last year. Still, I don't race to finish anything but first, so I'm considering what airplane might be the best to race in 2010.
There are probably articles in several cities' newspapers, especially in towns Racers call home, but one of them is at this link: http://www.tribstar.com/news/local_story_180215012.html
The team which placed 2nd is from Indiana State University, so they also won the Collegiate Trophy. These are really neat young ladies. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with them during dinner one evening. Turns out, they both took aerobatic instruction under Billy Werth, who I met last year in Indiana when he stopped at the Hendricks County airport in his Pitts for fuel. Billy is now engaged to a gal who lived just acouple doors down from us growing up. Small world! Anyway, Jessica and Victoria and I had a good time talking about what a good instructor Billy is, and a good person. I know he must be very excited for and proud of them.
The first-place team, Kelly Burris and Erin Recke, are two very good pilots. Their first race was last year and they were disqualified for going "into the soup". This race is VFR only. But these ladies have integrity and a great sense of humor. This year they put up a blog titled, "No Clouds For Us".
The host cities were outstanding. I heard that some of the take-offs from Denver Centennial can be seen by following a link on the ARC website for the '09 race.
Atlantic, Iowa is an impressive city. Population 7,000, and it has what real estate agents might call "Show Case" quality. Its evident that leaders of Atlantic know how to get the most for their city. They also know to invest in their airport... hint hint. The city is clean and neat as a pin, with tree and lamp post lined streets in the down town blocks and several blocks of well kept historic buildings that are occupied and doing business. Atlantic is one small town that obviously has leaders with vision; forward thinkers. Its a great example.
As for Amelia Bearheart, well, she's seen some interesting places now. We took her picture with an Iowa cornfield in the backdrop. Not just any Iowa field though - one where the real Amelia Earheart landed once. We also took the bear's photo in front of the historic Whitney Inn, where Amelia stayed, and at the Iowa Aviation Museum, along side framed pictures of the woman who taught Amelia to fly. When we get the pix downloaded I'll post a few here.
The race is a close one every year. Comparing the handicap speed between first and second place was only 0.933. At 17th place (out of 34), we were only 8.600 from the first-place finishers. Interestingly, even the winners had a bad leg. The time they flew for Leg 7 was 29th fastest.
I appreciate the work and dedication of all those who volunteer to keep this race going. I think it would be very cool if there were more races that would be open to all, male and female.