The one thing I have always loved about our sport is how everyone is always willing to help if there is a problem. This weekend was no different except one person. Comments made by this person blew me away as I believe that directly and indirectly he has to thank for all of us for his lively hood and how he went out of his way to be a complete jerk.
This was a big weekend for us, we had a few of Mercedes Benz big shots come down to Key West. After reading all the mags I've been sending them for a year they wanted to come down and see for themselves what the Poker runs are like and if they should concentrate more on advertising in this area. They have been asking my advise as to where I feel the best area for them to become more visible. I of coarse feel Poker runs get the most exposure between all the Magazines and Powerboating in Paradise tv show. Some of them think putting $$ into Racing is the way to go.
The plan was to take these guys for a ride in the Mercedes boat and then introduce them to everyone. We had a problem with the boat on the way down. Nothing serious but we did need some help. The guys from Aquamania offered us the use of their pit area along with their crew and equipment. Mike from Sterling was in the next pit and was also going to help. We were told the Doug Wright cat was unable to attend the Duval street parade and they were short one boat and we could take his spot for $500. We thought would be great exposure for Mercedes and help SBI out since they were short a boat. With these 2 things in mind we headed to the pits to talk to John Carbonell and take care of our issue.
When bringing the boat to Aquamanias pit we were stopped by an SBI pit attendant and he said "John Carbonell said to get that boat out of here now"! We told him we were going to go over and talk to John right now. The attendant was very persistent that we stopped in our tracks to go and talk with him, which we did. Of coarse I had every intention of paying SBI what ever they needed.
I walked over to Carbonell with Larry Goldman who is a current SBI racer with Aquamania. As we walked up to John, Larry immediately put out his hand and said "Great turn out" and shook Johns hand. Johns reply was "get that boat out of here now!" Larry tried explaining what we were planning on doing. Larry, which is the fastest talker know was able to spit out "What we" and immediately he was cut off with, "get it out of here now". Larry tried again to explain "we want to pay...." again, "get it out!!" He then said "I will have nothing to do with Stu Jones, Poker run guys or boats, get it out of the pits now"!
Larry said, "How about the parade", pulling money out of his pocket to pay the $500. John then said "I'm not Stu Jones, I don't take payoffs"." I'm not letting that boat in the parade, forget it"
This is where I voiced my opinion of John, walked away and left the pits. I want to again reiterate, I was more than happy to pay what every I needed to pay to handle this. I also thought Carbonell would be somewhat happy we were there as we were told he had a problem being short one boat for the parade! His attitude was completley unexpected!
The Aquamania guys were really pissed as they pay for their entire pit area and are allowed to park what they want within their assigned area and wanted to argue with John but I didn't want it to get to that.
What a miserable guy! I don't know what his problem is with Poker run boats or Stu but obviously we are not welcome around SBI. I feel if it wasn't for the poker runners, Key West would not be nealy what it is. I completely understand there are rules and John had a lot going on but he was so rude and nasty. He was an absolute nasty jerk and completly disrespectful to Larry Goldman for no reason at all. I have heard so many people talk bad about John, I guess thats why he has the attendance he has at his races. It's really too bad. I only wish he knew the opportunity that was right under his nose, had he been a decent guy, he may have ended up with Mercedes as one of his Key sponsors for next year.
We didn't get to take the guys for a ride in the Mercedes boat but I got them to have dinner at Racheals Monday night, they are very happy and will continue their support. Just need to come up with some new ideas for them, SBI will not be a consideration!!
please read the fine print
Sounds like he really knows how to market himself.
Bring The Boat Over To Oss And Stu Jones. We Could Both Benefit From This Opportunity
OPA biggest organization in the country, I bet they would love the support of your company.
I have talked to John several times he is very straight forward. I am sure if you had talked to John before you were inside the gate he would have no problem.
If you were not there to race and you were not signed up with SBI, then you really did not need to be there.
Just my 2 cents.
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Amazing. It sounds like it is all about the Benjamins to John and his crew.
I would talk to the guys from OPA as they are the guys that IMO are doing it right. Keep it fun and get the large turn out. I mean how many boats did they have at the "worlds" anyhow.
Put your best foot forward!
Maybe John needs to take a Dale Carnagie course. "How to win friends and influence people"
Typical John C. - back in the day- I paid all my expenses - asked nothing from JC - yet he was the "dictator" at the time- One would think he would realize what good press is - and what benefits his org. would receive - however - he is very short sighted - If he said he does not take payoffs- thats a laugh - thats all he wanted when I was around - it was money money money - anyway- at least the Open water - is free - he could not control that - I wonder why he could never accept that what others do, could benefit him - instead he wants to be the KING or RULER - I guess you cant take a carpet layer and make him an executive - a shame -
John and reggie are pretty tight...... may have been their only chance to take a shot at the cat killer.... killer!
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