By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — This Sunday morning, the skies over Wausau will be dotted with planes piloted by more than 70 air racers participating in the AirVenture Cup Race as they compete for top honors in the cross-country event, now in its 20th year.
The pilots will launch at 9 a.m. from Mt. Vernon, Ill., before navigating several turning points creating a course of more than 400 nautical miles before landing in Wausau starting at about 10:15 a.m., weather permitting.
“The AirVenture Cup Race is one of the biggest events of the year for the Wausau Downtown Airport,” said Airport Manager John Chmiel. “It really puts us on the map with the aviation community and we’ve been proud to host it for three years in a row now.”
The race is open to a wide variety of pilots and aircraft, from sport pilots to astronauts, and J-3 Cubs to Turbine Legends, according to the AirVenture Cup Race page. Aircraft will be grouped into classes based on their experimental or production certification, engine size, induction type, and landing gear configuration to keep every aircraft competitive.
The race is held annually on the opening weekend of the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in and convention in late July, and most participants fly into Oshkosh at the race’s conclusion.
Check out this video from a recent race:
(Main/top photo credit: Moving Target Photos/Geoff Sobering)