Today is award day! More than 100 women are counting the hours, rehashing the race legs, regretting the if-onlys, celebrating the successes. Who will place first? Who will rank in the top ten? Who will win one of the many other awards? We find out tonight at the ARC Awards Banquet. The first question the judges asked us when we met yesterday was whether we’d had fun. Absolutely! The AOPAngels had a blast, worked hard, honed our skills, learned a great deal, and made many like-minded friends. That’s winning on many levels.

While a handful of racers are highly competitive, most of us were racing for the challenge, the fun, the camaraderie. It was a privilege to meet so many skilled women pilots from all over the world, and to celebrate the love of flying we share. Though we were first-time racers, and had a great Mother Bird, we Angels took a team or two under our wings, as well. Once, while we were making good time at altitude, we could hear a couple of teams below us at 2500 bemoaning the heat, the rough ride, and the 30-knot headwind. We debated whether to let them in on our secret. Finally, we decided to put on our halos. “This is Team 43, AOPAngels. We have a tailwind and smooth, cool air at 8500. Come on up, girls.” To say our transmission was appreciated is an understatement. We haven’t heard the end of it. Life’s not always about being first; it’s about being the best we can be.

Thanks for sharing our flying adventure. AOPAngels, over and out.