Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Blog Site: KSU Air Race Classic Team

Hello Friends!
This year, I have created a new blog in order to follow current and future KSU Air Race Classic Teams. For updates, please see:

Thanks for your continuous support of our team.
Go Cats!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Awards Banquet

The awards banquet this evening was awesome; just like the rest of the ARC 2009. Everyone had a great time and will be remembered by all as a wonderful experience. All the racers, judges, directors, timers, etc. are remarkable people and Kali and I can't thank everyone enough for this unbelievable experience. Kali and I were fortunate to receive an award; fourth place on the fourth leg of the race. That leg was Lufkin, Texas to Russellville, Arkansas. We received $20 and a bronze charm. Out of the collegiate teams we were 5th. Overall we placed 19th out of 32 teams. We were very happy with our results!! Congrats to Indiana State for first place in the collegiate competition and second place overall. Embry-Riddle took collegiate second (Prescott Campus) and third (Daytona Campus) places.

Thanks to all of our followers for your support!! Robin and Niki, both Kali and I can't thank you enough for all of the work you have done to get us here and all of the work you have done throughout the race!!

Kali and I are looking forward to competing in our next Air Race Classic!! We can't believe the week is over!

Collegiate CompetitorsAll of the Racers...Kali and I are on the Bottom Row

Kali and I will now be heading back to Salina tomorrow morning. We cannot wait to share our stories with all of our family and friends back at home!!

Awards Banquet is Today

Yesterday the K-State Team attended the 1st time racer's debriefing and signed score sheets. We still do not know where they stand :  ( But, Kali said that, "Merritt is an amazing timer and half of our times were exact to the second!" Great job!!!

*When each team signs time sheets, the judges/timer meets with each team individually and goes through the start and stop  times for each leg of the race. This is to verify that the timer got the proper time for each leg of the course and credited the proper team for that time. I encouraged our K-State team, # 22, to be particularly careful and write down these times because in my first year racing, there were multiple planes that crossed the timing line near the same time our team did, and the timers completely missed our time!

However, have no fear, our fantastic mama bird, Janet Yoder, encouraged us to keep track of our own times and also the aircrafts that crossed the timing line before and after us (if there were any)-and we did. The year that the timers missed our times, they did know a plane had passed the timing line around the times that we had flown, but did not know which classic team it was. So, when it came time for our team to sign the time sheets, the judges were able to get our times-and fill in the blank that it was our team that crossed the timing line around the times the judges missed which plane crossed the line. Thanks mama birds!!!

Today is the all racers briefing, breakfast, and banquet. Stand by for results. I believe the banquet starts around 7pm this evening (CST) and will end around 10 or 11pm (ish). I will do my best to get the results and post them ASAP.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Kansas State University Team Completes 2009 Air Race Classic

Kali and Merritt have officially completed their first Air Race Classic!


I have had a handful of emails in regards to how our team is doing compared to the competition. The short answer is: we just will not know until the awards ceremony on Sunday evening. I will try to simplify that-as I know you are all wondering what that means exactly as they finished so early. (Deadline is Friday, June 26, 2009 at 5pm CST)

Here we go:
As of Thursday evening, the air race classic website posted the following information:

Where are they?

As of Thursdaynight, the racers were at the following locations.
IJX (Jacksonville): Classics 4, 13, 16, 19, 25, 27, 34
RAC (Racine): Classics 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 43
AIO (Atlantic): Classics 14 and 26
Now-what does that mean for us?
Two classic teams had completed the race Thursday evening, but that does NOT necessarily mean those two teams are #1 and #2 for the overall competition.

This race is based on having the BEST ground speed along the entire course. Every competitor takes off at the same time (sequentially in order, starting with #1, then 2, etc.), flies the same course, and has the same weather (essentially). The thing that changes is the decisions made by each team along the route. If teams decided to take longer at fuel stops-they could be missing out on great tail winds. If teams decided to stay overnight and depart in the morning, they are risking the chance of waiting on the weather, storms, fronts, and even winds.

Each team makes their own decisions along the route. Some teams may decide that they are hitting a head wind and to stay lower (as winds usually increase as you go up in altitude), while other teams may decide to climb to a higher altitude because of an expected tail wind. Each team picks the altitude to be flown along a given course, unless there are specific instructions because of an obstruction or airspace that the racers are flying around. (Like Chicago airspace, for example the Air Race Classic teams may be told they have to fly at a certain altitude on a specific route.)

Additionally, timing plays a huge role in the decisions made along the route as well. In general, the morning winds are usually more calm than winds in the afternoon. Additionally, depending on the race route, thunderstorms and weather can be an issue. So timing what stops to make it to by sunset each day are important factors to play into the decision making process.

Each team wants to be cautious and safe, yet fly the best race they can. In doing this, the teams have to decide what a good goal is to complete each day, based on their specific aircraft capabilities and expected weather for the week (even though these decisions may change over the course of the race). If a team decides to stop after only 1 or 2 legs per day, they risk not finishing the race by the deadline of Friday at 5pm CST. If you do not finish the race, you obviously cannot win (unless the case is that no race team could finish-I believe the rules state there is a special rule that the race could be "called off early" and one of the designated race stop airports along the course would be substituted as the finish line for all racers.)
Since each team ends up at different locations every night, it is a gamble to say that one team is "winning" over another team at this point. The final results are the only way to see what team ultimately flew the best race by having the best ground speed over the entire route. The ground speed is calculated in conjunction with the total number of miles flown and the time it took each team to fly the total course.

After the finish deadline:
The top 10 teams (-maybe top 12 teams-) will have their aircrafts re-inspected. This is to ensure that the top teams did not cheat or modify their engine/plane in any way along the route. After the inspections are completed, the judges will meet to verify results and come up with the scoring for all the "Classic teams" (as the judges call them).**

Even if the team did not place top 10, they are not out of the running for prizes!! (unless things have changed-Kali/Merritt, correct me if I am wrong ; )

The teams which are not top 10 can still compete in what are called "leg prizes." (Top 10 winners are excluded from these prizes.) These prizes are usually given out to the top 3 (I believe) teams for each "leg" of the race course. The top 3 teams of each leg usually get a small medal/medallion.

**LASTLY: My favorite prize for the race (if they still give it out-I think they do!) is the S.O.S prize for the last-place team. This is a small prize, but given away in good-humor. These ladies know how to have a good time, whether you are 1st or last place!

If you have questions, please post them below. I will do my best to answer them : )
(And-the ladies love to read the comments posted by their families and friends !!!)

I anticipate that Kali and Merritt will have a chance to post a blog in the next day or so...
Until then, GO CATS~!

En route to the Finish LINE!

The K-State ladies are en route to Atlantic, Iowa! They should arrive in about 2 that looks like about 11:30 am CST.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Before Takeoff at Centennial

Beatiful Arkansas

Lovely Sunrise in Lufkin, Texas
Sometimes we get a little close

We love air races!!!!

Kali was frightened

Then we got super frightened...but no worries...we made it!

Thanks Racine Airport for letting us hangar our airplanes!

We made it all the way to Lake Michigan

Safe on ground in Wisconsin

The K-State ladies have made another successful leg and are safe on ground in Wisconsin. Despite the bits of green that kept popping up on the radar, they said they did not have any trouble.