The first four teams to complete a weather-challenged course from Sweetwater, Texas, to Fryeburg, Maine, in this year’s all-women’s Air Race Classic landed at Eastern Slope Regional Airport on June 21, followed by about two dozen more by the time the June 22 deadline to perform a flyby at the Maine destination passed.
The Air Race Classic began in 1977, and continues to celebrate the achievements of women in aviation, and inspire others to achieve their aviation goals. Racers fly against an aircraft-specific handicap, rather than head-to-head against the other competitors. This year's race included challenging weather conditions that the teams had to negotiate, and the first arrivals crossed the timing line late in the afternoon.
The organization's website includes live map views of the field, links to air traffic control audio, videos from past years, and other resources.
Competitors had until 5 p.m. on June 22 to perform their flyby at the destination to stop their time clock and complete the race. For much of the race, a frontal system in the Midwest delayed many racers, turned back others, and caused the race organizers to rearrange the route, reducing the number of legs on which flight times would count toward a final result from nine to three. A weekend of festivities was lined up to follow, with the winners to be announced on June 25.