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AirVenture Cup Race takes off Sunday morning

Published: Jul. 25, 2021 at 1:35 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The annual EAA AirVenture Cup Race kicked off Sunday morning at Wausau’s Downtown Airport.

It was the first time the airport held the event. It also was the first year for the round-robin course. Racers started and ended at the downtown airport after they crossed the finish line in Merill. The course was nearly 400 miles in length. The airport hosted over 70 planes.

One pilot from Baltimore, Michael Bergen didn’t actually have much competition in this race. “It’s a factory 250 horsepower and retractable landing gear. So that put’s me at an FC2RG. I’m the only one in that class,” he said.

The planes are categorized into groups based on their build and engine. For Bergen, and possibly others, their biggest competitor was their past. “What I’m doing is, racing against myself with times I have and speeds I have from other races,” he explained. Before approaching him, he was calculating how fast he could fly to beat his old times. He said he was hoping to complete the race in two and a half hours, reaching speeds of 190 MPH. Before he took off, Bergen said he hopes everyone has fun and returns home safely.

The cup race is a kick-off event leading into EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh. Over 500,000 people come together at the annual event held at Wittman Regional Airport. Enthusiasts, spectators and pilots all come together to catch up with one another and celebrate the past, present and future of aviation. Oshkosh’s AirVenture event goes on Monday, July 26-August 1. For more details on that event, click here.

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