Three continents in one week!
I've been up in the air more than I've been on the ground, and there is no place I'd rather be.
But standing inside a formula one course during one heck of race is a close second; and that's exactly where I was at the beginning of June, on the African continent no less. Your Sanctioning committee consisted of board members Tammy and Tom Dehart, and myself, as well as former board member Justin Phillipson. Justin however, jumped at the opportunity to race in a beautiful slab wing Cassutt that became available on site.
Philip Goforth in Pooder, Dave Holmgren in Last Lap Player and Justin in Kermit were allowed demonstration flights over "The Med" in view of the resort hotels along the beach; which is what I’m sure led to an oversubscribed crowd. Twenty thousand tickets were requested. Unfortunately due to space and security limitations only three thousand were issued, but they were some of the most engaged fans I've ever seen. The pilots were being treated like rock stars; signing autographs, having their picture taken with dignitaries, fans and children; reserved seating at the resort dining area, and catered lunches. For some reason, but to no one's surprise, the crowd loved Philip. It was amazing to hear the crowd chant "Pooder" "Pooder" "Pooder” when they pulled it to the start line.
It was a great time and we were able to put on 3 races a day to cheering fans. Of course there was the drama inherent in formula one air racing. Treavor Jarvis made an uneventful dead stick landing; Dave Holmgren maydayed out of the Gold Simi Final, and Thom Richards over heated which caused him to pull out prematurely. Obviously it all got sorted out as Thom won the Gold and got the Trophy and beautiful Swiss Revue Thommen watch in Hot Stuff, his latest steed; which you'll recognize as once belonging to Brian Reberry when it was named September Fate. Jay Jones arrived sporting new colors on Quad Nickel which obviously increased its speed as it was second in the Gold. Mike Mondel made the Podium at third and it was hard to wipe the smile off his face. Kent Cassels posted a strong showing at forth in the gold. It was neck and neck all week between Philip and Justin with Philip edging out Justin for the win in the silver. Trevor Jarvis our Scottish entrant posted forth in the Silver after a great effort by his crew to solve a sick engine. It’s my understanding that he’ll be in Lleida with a new race motor.
The event was capped off with a closing ceremony held in a two thousand year old fort/castle with traditional Tunisian dance and a catered buffet. I was humbled.
Don’t forget to send in your Entry application for the 2015 Reno Air Races. The entry deadline is Friday June 26th 2015. The 2015 entry application can be found at
Well it's off to Reno PRS at Stead tomorrow to join Kirk Murphy our Pilot Chair and Elliot Seguin our Vice President welcome new enthusiastic pilots to the ranks of formula one.
Speaking of RENO, RARA has asked that I pass along a public letter from their Chairman of the Board.
“Dear Reno Air Racing Fans:
2015 will be a pivotal year in the history of the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA). Although RARA has enjoyed a remarkable fifty plus year span of operations, the truth is that the organization has financial challenges. The tragic events of 2011 only deepened the fiscal concerns. The board of directors, the staff, and the multitude of volunteers that make sure we have a yearly event are very aware of the current state of affairs. All are working hard to make sure the National Championship Air Races survives and thrives another fifty years. After restructuring the way RARA is governed and how we conduct business, we have reduced operating expenses very significantly.
We need your support. Attendance is a key factor for our success. This year’s show will be very entertaining. As always, we will feature six competitive race classes flying in a closed pylon contest that is the fastest motor sport in the world. Thanks to a very generous contribution we have managed to secure the performance of the Commemorative Air Force’s Tora, Tora, Tora group. This multi airplane, pyrotechnic show features a powerful history lesson as we celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II. Additionally the Breitling Jet Team will be coming to Reno for the very first time performing their seven ship aerobatic routine. There are too many acts to mention all. But it will be fun and different.
The future looks very bright for RARA when we contemplate 2016 and beyond. We have been selected for a performance by the Blue Angels which is always a crowd favorite and a guaranteed increase in attendance. We have also been in numerous discussions about televising the Races in some fashion. Potential sponsors have expressed interest in pursuing this option. We have an amazing organization that is a national treasure. Together we will build the future.
John Agather - Chairman of the Board of Directors
Mike Major - Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of Directors”
Well, next week it's Spain for the second leg of the 2015 Air Race 1 Series in Lleida.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook where the sanctioning committee and our pilots will post videos, photos and comments to our Facebook page, and Don't forget to "Like" us so you don’t miss any of the action.
Here is the link to our Facebook page.