|The range of AirVenture Cup competition: In 2009, Vernon Rogers and Rene Dugas raced in a Turbine Legend while Tres Clements and Ryan Malherbe flew a Pietenpol.
April 12, 2013 - The EAA AirVenture Cup Race will continue racing in 2013 with the full support and involvement of EAA.
Race volunteers and EAA Chairman Jack Pelton met earlier this year to coordinate details of the race and establish guidelines for the EAA event. Race officials are still determining the course for this year's event, but plan to hold the race on Sunday, July 28, in advance of EAA AirVenture as they have done for the past 15 years.
"Since the late 1990s, this event has been a showcase of homebuilt aircraft and airmanship," Pelton said. "A dedicated group of EAA-member volunteers and pilots have created a unique event and one that is eagerly anticipated by those who participate and those of us who welcome them to Oshkosh."
Race Chairman Eric Whyte helped launch the race in 1997 when he was an EAA employee. Then-EAA President Tom Poberezny saw the potential in a cross-country race exclusively for experimental category aircraft and homebuilders.
"We are very excited to continue the EAA AirVenture Cup Race," said Whyte, who also serves as an EAA volunteer. "We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from Jack Pelton and EAA headquarters for this year's race. Cross-country air racing is an important part of our rich aviation history, and we all want to preserve that experience for participants and spectators for years to come."
Race officials say they have their work cut out for them, given the need for sponsorships and the short amount of time they have until race day.
"As the saying goes, 'It takes money for airplanes to fly.' Everything else is secondary," said AVC volunteer, Kandi Spangler, who is in charge of finding sponsors for the race. "The EAA AirVenture Cup Race is a great way for companies to gain exposure, especially within the experimental aircraft community."
Past race courses have ranged from 400 miles to 750 miles cross-country toward Oshkosh in advance of EAA AirVenture. The first race in 1998 started in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, with 10 aircraft. Several of them have participated in the EAA AirVenture Cup Race ever since. In 2012, the race started in Mitchell, South Dakota, with more than 50 aircraft participating. The race has also started in Dayton, Ohio.
On the day before last year's race, volunteers and pilots partnered with the Mitchell airport to host an open house, during which pilots provided more than 250 Young Eagles rides. The 2012 race had 11 classes of aircraft - from Sportsman Light featuring E-LSAs to the Unlimited, some capable 400 mph or more. Race entry information will be posted soon on the website, so stay tuned.
To learn more about the race and available sponsorship opportunities, contact Kandi Spangler at firstname.lastname@example.org.