Earhart Festival

May 2012 sees the official launch of the Amelia Earhart Flying Club, quite literally, as hundreds of its members take to the skies to fly from Cork to Londonderry to mark the 80th anniversary of the pioneering aviator’s solo Atlantic crossing.

The 250-mile race for the inaugural Amelia Earhart Challenge Trophy will be held on Saturday, May 19, as part of the 2012 Earhart Festival. The competitors are scheduled to touch down in Ballyarnett Park, just yards from the spot where Amelia Earhart landed after flying into the history books as the first woman to cross the Atlantic single handed.

It should be pointed out that the competitors taking to the skies over Ireland are all of the feathered variety, and the Amelia Earhart Flying Club is the former Rock Pigeon Club, based at Ballyarnett Country Park. The club, that has been prominent in pigeon racing circles since it was established in 1984, made the decision to change its name in honour of the 80th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s historic landing.

Festival Director, Oliver Green, said : ‘I’m delighted that such a respected club with its impeccable credentials in the pigeon fraternity has taken this very welcome initiative. What could be more apt than one group of celebrated long distance flyers- admittedly of the feathered variety- making a strong public statement to recognise the achievements of the First Lady of aviation?

“I am confident the Amelia Earhart Challenge trophy will attract a quality entry from across the country and that it will establish itself as a major event in the racing calendar.”

This year, the Festival moves to its new dates of May 14 to 21 to coincide with the actual 80th anniversary of the historic landing on May 21, 1932. 2012 also marks the next major step in its planned and steady transition from a community event to one of international standing.

For more information, contact the Festival Office 028 7135 7443 or email [email protected]