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2005 Air Race Classic 'flight log'

June 20, 2005

by Erica Ebenhoeh and Sarah Tower

LAFAYETTE, Ind.--We're getting ready to meet the other racers on Purdue's campus for a safety seminar and a contestant briefing.

Sunday night, Purdue hosted our Takeoff Banquet. It was fabulous. We had the opportunity to talk with our fellow racers and meet each race team. Two teams that were supposed to compete were unable to arrive at the race start on time due to mechanical problems with their airplanes. So we now have a total of 40 teams competing.

With each team consisting of two to three women, the number of racers totals near 84. Needless to say, the banquet last night was a large event. Purdue did a beautiful job of honoring our racers who flew in the Powder Puff Derby--the pre-cursor to the Air Race Classic--and those who served their country as Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP). Without the courage and determination of these barrier-breaking women, Erica and I would not be here today. We feel fortunate to take part in such a historical and honorable event.

Tomorrow, we begin the day with a 6 a.m. takeoff breakfast and thorough weather briefing. At 8 a.m. Central Daylight Time, Erica and I will take off twenty-second in a line of forty planes. In 30 second intervals, waved with a checkered flag, we will each depart for our first race checkpoint, Winona, Minn.

We will send our next report tomorrow night, after what we hope will be, a safe and successful day of racing.

--Sarah Tower

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Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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