What’s better than a catered picnic at a baseball game? A four-plane formation flight over the field in your honor! The AOPAngels were especially thrilled knowing the pilots were friends and coworkers, all of whom are cheering the Air Race Classic racers on. The officials of Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, Maryland called all the racers to the field, sharing with the crowd the history of the race and the challenging 2017 route amid cheering and clapping. Wow. So special.

This morning was business – the first of two race briefings covering topics on safety, scoring, and airspace along the race route. Most teams, including mine, spent the afternoon flight planning. Tonight, we had the privilege of attending the Start Banquet – a formal send-off organized by the Sugarloaf 99s that included recognition of race sponsors, staff, volunteers, an intriguing keynote presentation, raffle prizes, and a mouth-watering buffet.

Tomorrow is the final race briefing and the last day for teams to plan their route strategies before take off. The weather is looking pretty good for our Tuesday morning launch with a high pressure system moving our way. The winds have everyone’s attention, though, as we struggle with how to coax the best ground speed out of a likely headwind.