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Friday in San Diego

Today we experienced the meteorological condition known as the marine layer… a low lying layer of cloud or fog that rolls in from the ocean. Our morning training session was delayed, then delayed again and then cancelled before the afternoon session was delayed twice and then cancelled too. Frustrating as the weather at our base airfield was blue sky and 25c whilst at the track it wobbled around a 500 foot cloud base.


My day today started with a live TV interview on the waterside next to the track at 7am. The media commitment being involved in the Air Race is huge. Huge because there is a lot of work that goes into it… and huge because if there was no media, there would be no viewers and if there are no viewers, there would be no sponsors and guess what? No sponsors, no Air Race… Like most modern sports, this is the balance between the sport and the coverage that it demands. Last year the Air Race commanded hundreds of millions of TV viewers and this year there will be more. How does that affect an Air Race pilot? It’s a constant balance between satisfying media requests and keeping your mind on the job… when you’re flying at 30 feet and 230 mph, a small mistake could cost you dearly (and I’m not talking about being third instead of second)… the key is to prioritise and make sure that your plan for the race is complete before you get distracted. I’m not entirely sure that some folks know what we’re about. Can you compare the stress between the possibility of a camera running out of tape or the risk of hitting the ground at 200 mph?


Tomorrow is qualifying day… one point up for grabs and as we’ve seen in the past, points make prizes… We’ll be there…