42 Teams To Compete In 46th Air Race Classic


42 teams are set to compete in the 46th annual Air Race Classic (ARC) all-women cross-country airplane race. Covering a 2,684-statute mile course, the race will begin at North Dakota’s Grand Forks International Airport (GFK) and finish at Miami Homestead General Aviation Airport (X51) in Homestead, Florida with nine intermediate checkpoints. The event, which traces its origin to the Women’s Air Derby first held in 1929, is flown in normally aspirated piston airplanes during daylight hours in VFR conditions. Each aircraft receives a unique time handicap with official standings determined based on the margin by which each team beats their handicap.

“The ARC Board of Directors and volunteers have been hard at work preparing for our 46th race,” said Air Race Classic President Lara Gaerte. “We look forward to celebrating the 94th anniversary of the Women’s Air Derby as we welcome back veteran racers and meet new competitors at our Start in Grand Forks, North Dakota.”

The 46th ARC is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. local time on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, and end on Friday, June 23. 100 pilots will be participating in this year’s event, split into teams of two or three people. Each team must include one person who has at least 500 hours as pilot-in-command or a current instrument rating and one who holds at least a private pilot certificate with a minimum of 100 hours as pilot-in-command. If a third teammate is included, they must hold at least a student pilot certificate.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. With a little more effort, this article could have a graphic depicting the route and some information on the stops. The ARC is a great event and this article does little to publicize it.

  2. I stumbled into one of these races years ago. I was doing a charter in a Piper Geronimo and I orbited for a few minutes to allow two planes to land ahead of me. Had a nice chat with a few of the pilots as they gassed and headed out.

  3. For cubflying and others:


    Interesting list of airplanes. it would be cool to know what/how the handicapping works as there is a mix of HP airplanes along with two I use to fly (172/PA28). In many sailboat races these days, there is a website/page that would show the (almost) real time position of the racers. I think something like that would draw more attention to the race.

  4. My mother competed in this race in the early 1950’s in the family’s Navion from San Diego to somewhere in the SE US. One of the other competitors was a woman who would end up being my third stepmother. Since she was a WASP and had ferried bombers during WW2, she had a lot more PIC experience and did better than my mother. It’s a great test of piloting experience to meet a predetermined time.