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St Clair.. Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a locomotive.

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Old 08-01-2006, 02:00 PM
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Default St Clair.. Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a locomotive.

Doreen, DarrenUS1 and I journeyed to Michigan, this past weekend,and made our 2nd consecutive visit to the St Clair Race. I had covered the event for TV in past years, but had not been there in 5 years or so before last year. The good news is that we were able to do an "A/B" comparison, year over year under the "new" racing regime. It was also a chance to say hi to a lot of old friends...and even see a Lamborghini powered cat (now called "Emmanuelle", formerly Rocky Euromarche) that George Linder, Ken Adams, and I built back in 1983.....

As critical as I am, and jaded from years of "the next best thing" B.S...... This event and group is showing some signs of life...and promise. The boat count seemed to be up (At least quality boats) with the addition of the outboard cats and others. The spectators were definitely up( which is saying something given the pizza oven like weather). The racer's were convivial, accessable, and positive. Finally, the competition was better, although there are still too many @#$#^% classes , with resultant degradation(to the casual fan) of comprehensable racing.

For some reason (probably the thunder storm), Talk Offshore, the hosts over the sound system, were not connected for the final, featured race, and that's a shame, because Martin and co. were very useful in keeping the spectators up to speed.

I think that OSS has initiated a quality platform to grow the sport, and needs a few (vital) things to get over the top, in no particular order:

1. APBA to give it up and merge. (Heck Castro finally stepped aside, can SBI be far behind?)

2. A real TV package, on a channel that is actually broadcast outside of fringe cable.

3. An end to punitive "weight adjustments" for boats that are legal...and within the "spirit and intent". The practice of penalizing excellense has to stop....as do the whiners who don't do their homework, but expect to win anyway.

4. A swift (and confidential) process to deal with people who break the rules....not a "wait and see" delay tactic. There's a bit of respect being lost....and integrity is the core of any successful motor racing model.

5. The elimination of PX class...... The "showoff" class wound up with one boat running and only proved the point that the 1075 Mercruiser is a much more complete (and dependable) engine package than the overstressed powerplants that the rest of those guys insist on p*ssing money away on. PX also succeeded in taking away from the truly remarkable job that Reliable( SC) and Popeye's (SCL) (Actually beating somebody) did on the same race course.

One final thought............Since the "conversion" from the top notch (paid) crew chiefs and rigging shops (TNT, Joey Imprescia, Jerry Gilbreath, etc, etc) to the "good ol' boys" who replaced them....the attrition rate (on some heavily funded teams) has increased exponentially. What good does it do to bring a million dollar boat, (or boats) with (and without) major sponsors, to an event only to drop out after 1/4 mile (or not even get both motors running)? This is a silly "penny wise, pound foolish" approach, that rewards "buddies", but leaves the team looking foolish, and the spectators disappointed. In addition, a team winds up spending more money to repair issues that never would have occurred with proper team management and maintenance programs in the first place.

Overall, It was a quality event, put on by great people, in a nice locale, and we look forward to a great future if the direction, focus, and leadership is ratcheted up to the task.

Good luck to all, and special thanks to Tom Abrams and team, the class you guys bring to the sport is one of its most valuable assets.

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Old 08-01-2006, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: St Clair.. Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a locomotive.

Nicely worded, and gives a clear opinion, of the hurdles racing needs to clear. besides the rain it was a great event. Met a lot of people from the board, and got a preview of Sharkey's photos, which are great! and Enjoyed the company of many friends.
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Old 08-01-2006, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: St Clair.. Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a locomotive.

Rich....some very good points. Hopefully, they will be heard and acted upon. OSS is striving to make a better show. Honest, unbiased, constructive critisism is always welcomed.



It was nice to see you and Darren again.
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Old 08-01-2006, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: St Clair.. Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a locomotive.

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Originally Posted by BRUCE SEROFF
Rich....some very good points. Hopefully, they will be heard and acted upon. OSS is striving to make a better show. Honest, unbiased, constructive critisism is always welcomed.



It was nice to see you and Darren again.
Right back at ya!

and thanks.

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Old 08-01-2006, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: St Clair.. Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a locomotive.

I was under the impression that this was an OPA organized event and OSS was an invited guest. I must have mentioned your giving credit to OPA.
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: St Clair.. Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a locomotive.

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Originally Posted by Phantom1
I was under the impression that this was an OPA organized event and OSS was an invited guest. I must have mentioned your giving credit to OPA.
Point taken....OPA put on a fine show, much of which came because of the cooperation between two (not one) groups.

BUT!

For the life of me, if you want to grow a sport....you don't waste time, or breath, on who is the host and who is the guest... because, frankly, sponsors, host cities, and fans..... don't care. Except when you confuse them or screw them. Than they paint all of boat racing with a dirty brush.

This isn't the Middle East where being a Sunni or a Shiite might float your boat....and make you hate your brother... The main thing is UNITY....for all members of the boat racing brotherhood. Everything else is divisive....Everything else.

In my boat racing career "initials" have come and gone. From the NOA, to USPBA, to OPT, to USO, to PROP, to SBR, to "the LLC".....ad nauseum. What did "loyalty" to any of them get the racer in the long run? Nothing but turf wars...and a trail of bad checks.

One of my favorite slogans goes as follows:

"As you wander on through life brother

Whatever be your goal

Keep your eye upon the donut

And not upon the hole"

In this case Unity is the donut....everything else is the hole.

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Old 08-01-2006, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: St Clair.. Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a locomotive.

Phantom 1 you are right it was a Blue water and OPA event with OSS being the guest.It was great to have all the boats at one race site no matter who the host is.Rich it was great to see you and Darren.Hopefully racing is going in the right direction with more joint events.You are right with allot of your points and thanks again for stopping by. Tom
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: St Clair.. Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a locomotive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 46tomcat
Phantom 1 you are right it was a Blue water and OPA event with OSS being the guest.It was great to have all the boats at one race site no matter who the host is.Rich it was great to see you and Darren.Hopefully racing is going in the right direction with more joint events.You are right with allot of your points and thanks again for stopping by. Tom
Great seeing you as well Tom.....

And best wishes to all of my racing friends.... in both sets of initials.

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Old 08-01-2006, 05:43 PM
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Default Re: St Clair.. Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a locomotive.

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Originally Posted by T2x

For some reason (probably the thunder storm), Talk Offshore, the hosts over the sound system, were not connected for the final, featured race, and that's a shame, because Martin and co. were very useful in keeping the spectators up to speed.


T2x
Thank you for the kind words, they are much appreciated coming from someone that has been there behind the mic.

Yes, the public address system for the park failed on the last race, however, we were able to continue with the webcast.

We will be broadcasting from Washington, NC this weekend along with a simulcast on the ESPN Sports radio affiliate for the area.

Be sure to check www.talkoffshore.com for any updates and to listen to the final St Clair race along with previously recorded races.

While there, make sure you visit our sponsor's websites, they are the ones that make it happen.

Thanks for listening.

Talk Offshore Staff
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: St Clair.. Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a locomotive.

I went to a couple of races as a volunteer, paid a lot of money to get there, hotel, fuel, food, all that stuff. The race organizer both times promised the moon, shirts, bst view poiints, get to be a rescue boat, great passes, dinner parties, free stuff, only to ignore, abuse, and belittled. The last one was particularly bad. After months of building up how great it was going to be I found it disappointing at best. The first time we almost got arrested because race control was screaming be in a particular spot and Fish and Wildlife wanted us to move. You know how the fish and wildlife guys are, any attempt at discussions practically gets you arrested.... we bailed on both events half way through after basically feeling like we were someones punching bag....

The boating community will come to the table and help, but these organizations have to do some little stuff to say thanks to volunteers, not a lot, but maybe a shirt, a free round of drinks, talk to us like people not dogs, stuff like that..... or quite asking people to be punching bags.....

I may have just happened into two poorly organized events in a row, but it was bad enough there will not be a third.... I will be a spectator only from now on, in the cheap seats.....
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