Bemidji Regional Airport chosen as fourth stop
in the country’s only women’s air race!
HELD JUNE 20TH THROUGH JUNE 23RD, 2017
The 41st annual Air Race Classic (ARC), an all-women, transcontinental airplane race, has chosen the Bemidji Regional Airport as Stop Four in their 2017 race route, taking fliers from Frederick MD to Santa Fe NM. This year’s race route was chosen to challenge the racers, providing a variety of learning opportunities, yet still accommodate the endurance range of slower aircrafts.
Tracing its roots to the 1929 Women’s Air Derby, the ARC is the epicenter of women’s air racing. An ultimate test of piloting skill and aviation decision-making, ARC female pilots range in age from 17 to 90 years old and come from all walks of life.
This year’s race has pilots fly 2,600+ miles over four days, experiencing changes in terrain, weather, winds, and airspace. The Air Race Classic follows a different route every year, with typically 10 predefined airports that the race team must fly to along the way. Landing at each airport is optional depending on the decisions of the race team. However, each team must be on the ground at a designated race stop prior to sunset. There is no requirement to fly the race in four days. The race can be flown in one day or up to four days, depending on strategy, weather, and airplane endurance. Because the ARC is a handicap race, teams are racing against their own best time, not against one another, which allows slower planes to compete against faster aircraft on an equal basis.
At each designated stop, volunteers help the racers with water, food, fuel, transportation – whatever they need. All airplane enthusiasts are invited to the Bemidji Airport to watch racers fly the timing line, and maybe meet them on the ground. You can also follow the racers online as they make their way along the race course at http://www.airraceclassic.org.
June 2017 Photos courtesy of The Air Race Classic, Inc. All rights reserved. www.airraceclassic.org.