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Sanford Team in All-Female Pilot Competition

Sue Tholen, Marisa Jordan and Lenora Lewis sit on the wing of a Diamond DA40

Sue Tholen, Marisa Jordan and Lenora Lewis sit on the wing of a Diamond DA40 before takeoff.

Photo: Allison Navia

Southern Maine Aviation, operator of Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport, is sponsoring a team in the nation’s oldest race of female pilots.

Sue Tholen and Lenora Lewis, who work at Southern Maine Aviation, and teammate Marisa Jordan, competing as Southern Maine Loonatics, are among 46 teams in the Air Race Classic, a race launched in 1929 with famed pilot Amelia Earhart among the contestants. This year’s race started Tuesday in Carbondale, Illinois, and hopscotched across 11 states before ending in Loveland Colorado. Total distance is 2,628 miles. All contestants should have finished by Friday, June 21.

Because each plane receives a unique handicap, teams are racing against their own best time, not against one another, according to the Air Race Classic website. This creates a level playing field, so slower planes can compete against faster planes on an equal basis. Teams strategize to play the elements, holding out for better weather or seeking more favorable winds, to beat their handicap by the greatest margin.

All teams are equipped with a SPOT tracker. Their positions are posted in real time on the ARC website. Go here.
General information can be found here.

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