The Liberty GazetteEly Air Lines
January 31, 2012
January 31, 2012
By Mike Ely and Linda Street-Ely
Linda: The very classy and always stylish Ada Fay Schmidt said last week, “Linda! I just want to know one thing!” Curious, I asked, “What do you want to know?” Ada Fay said, “Which one of those ladies wins the race? I can't wait to find out!” I realized she was speaking of the friendly rivalry between Louise Scudieri and AnnElise Bennett, about which we’ve been writing in this space the past couple of weeks. Louise and AnnElise enjoy their competition. I've been at races where it seems everyone in the room holds their breath waiting to hear the times and speeds when those two race each other. So Ada Fay, this is for you. I asked them to tell it in their own words.
Louise: That is fantastic; Miss Ada Fay made me laugh out loud! I'm just looking forward to test pilot status in a couple of weeks. We will hopefully have everything on the new engine working by the beginning of March and right now my schedule is open March 31 for the first race of the 2012 season.
From the first time I raced a Sport Air Racing League race in Sherman in 2009 when AnnElise beat me by less than one mile-an-hour, I was hooked. Air racer and race organizer Pat Purcell found out I was racing Air Race Classic, tracked me down, and convinced me to try a Sport Air race just one month before the Classic. I am forever grateful. When Pat saw our times and speeds, she was quick to tell me I was ready for ARC and that AnnElise and I were well matched in SARL. I had such a great time from pre-planning, race brief, start, and the concentration of execution, that I felt so good after crossing the finish line I laughed my way all the way to parking! I savor the feeling and completely enjoy the experience each time (even when I miss a turn and beat myself up). Now that I have a new, faster engine I hope Bobby Bennett keeps his eyes open for a set of 520 steel cylinders on the back of a surplus truck or corner of a hangar to plug into AnnElise’s airplane to get us back into the same class. Until then, “41Mike” and I will attend every race we can fit into our schedule and invite more racers to ‘bring it’.
AnnElise: I remember being a nervous wreck the first time I raced Louise, it was the first time I'd raced anyone with the same airplane as mine. I figured she had to want it as badly as I did, being a girl competitor in the boys’ club. My highly competitive nature took hold and I went screaming around the course, flying the straightest, tightest line I could. My speed of 158.10 mph beat Louise’s 157.18. I was hooked.
Mike: These ladies compete hard. AnnElise won the first match, but come back next week (Ada Fay!), because there is more to this story and you don’t want to miss it.