Explore the Shore wrapup

September 30, 2013 Posted by JThw8

It was just a few short months ago, although it seems like forever now, that Street Safari announced the final BABE rally in the US.  Although the thought of putting on my own event had always rattled around my brain it was joined by many other thoughts in my constant state of “big ideas and small organization”.  But when I told my wife and business partner Kelley that this was the end she surprised me by saying “Let’s do this!”  She has brought to the table what I never could, organization and structure.  Therefore I start this recap by thanking her for everything she did to make Asphault Adventures and the Explore the Shore adventure a reality.

Once the decision was made the questions started.  Would anyone participate?  Could we capture the spirit we loved in other events but give it our own unique flavor?  Would a one day format even work?  The answer is a resounding YES!

We had set a conservative goal of 10 teams for our first event.  Something small to just “get our feet wet”.  We decided to cut off entries at 15 to ensure we didn’t overreach.  And then you all just kept coming!  Friends from work, friends from GRM, Lemons, BABE.  How could we turn you away?  So in the end we had 20 teams of some of the greatest people we know.  We were stoked, not just by the success but by the opportunity to continue to share in the fun with our favorite people and make some new friends along the way.  We had expected no one would travel too far for a one day event yet you came from Ohio, from Georgia, from Vermont, from all over.  We are overwhelmed and grateful for all the support we received.

Let’s start with the high points: And where to start, there were so many!  The teams, all of the teams, old and new, brought that spirit of competition with friendship we’ve come to love.  I was very pleasantly surpised at the number of husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend teams.  I think that is something we will especially see on the shorter 1 and 3 day events.  The wives have the good sense not to be stuck in a smelly car with smelly guys for a week but a day or two is usually surviveable.  I was even more pleased by the number of those teams which came to me afterwards to say how much the time and adventure shared with their significant other had actually strengthened their relationship.  I’m sensing a 2nd honeymoon themed rally in the future….

The weather.  I don’t think we could have requested a better day, sun shining but a nice breeze.  It was a great day to hit the beaches.

That one poor bride in Wildwood.  When we asked you to photobomb beach weddings we did not anticipate that there would be one right at the finish line.  Anyone (most everyone) who had not checked that challenge off their list yet siezed the opportunity.  I wish someone had gotten her name and address, we owe her a gift.

The Oceanic Hotel and Tiki Bar.  When our closing ceremonies venue suddenly bailed on us with little time left the Oceanic really stepped up and took care of us. Private pool party with bar and hot tub? Yes please!  I understand they took pity on at least one team who was going to have 4 team members floor surfing and upgraded them to a suite for free so they didn’t have to sleep on the floor.

Group Challenge Activities.  Expect to see more of these.  I love to get the group bunched back up after they get spread out on the road and get everyone interacting.  My only regret for this activity is that I couldn’t watch the mayhem ensue.  You will definitely see variations of it again.

Really I could go on and on with this, and over the next few days I will try to pick out some highlights with photos to feature on the website and FB page.

Lessons learned, and yes we will try to always learn lessons so construtive criticism is always welcomed.

When you create a challenge list so full that it cannot be completed (which was our goal) you have to score that list!  While the automated system helped we are definitely still working out bugs with it and I felt it only fair to review all team submissions manually with the teams to ensure we got it right.  It took time, it created stress.  We will probably be looking into a commercial solution for the future.  The upside to these solutions is live leaderboards and real time scoring.  The downside, for some, is this will mean smartphones only.  Hand scoring is just too time consuming and inefficient, too easy to make a mistake, we really want to remove the human factor to ensure everyone gets a fair and even score in the future.

Also when you create a list that long it removes the ability to explore some of the other bits of the area one might like to see.  This is why we added a “make your own adventure” challenge with a good points value to try and encourage people to go have a little fun.  But we’ll admit this was less a great driving day and more a challenge chasing day.  Longer rallies will have combinations of the 2.  One day rallies will probably be of different varieties but we will try to specify in the rally description if it is a driving focused rally or a games focused rally.

Clarity in our instructions.  We had a few issues at registration because it was unclear that the “driver” form applied to all people in the car, not just the driver for the day.  We will be sure to make that clearer in the future.

On a whole I declare success!  I’m still alive, everyone seemed to have fun, and most importantly the list of people I’m proud to call friend grew some more.  I’m not sure I could ask for anything better.
Now for those following along at home, your 2013 Explore the shore winners:
Open Class: We had a lot of veteran teams from other events in the Open class and they brought all the tenacity and skill to the game that we’ve come to expect from them, without being hampered by a broke down car for a change.  But it was a newcomer to the game that went nuts on it all and ran away with it.  When I announced at the start that it was not possible to complete all the challenges Team 21 “Car Ramrod” took that as a personal challenge, and for a while there I thought they just might do it.  Were it not for our requirement of having team members in the photos I might have guessed they split off into 2 groups to be able to power through as much of the list as they did.  Job well done!
Banger Class: Again, veteran teams as far as the eye could see.  Some great new teams too who fought a hard battle and brought some of the coolest bangers (I’m looking at you Tunachuckers, I loove that Volvo Amazon!)  At the end of the day it was 2 veterans and friends running neck and neck.  I had to double then triple check the scores to ensure everyone got a fair shake on this one.  Once the dust settled it was the “always the bridesmaid never the bride” team of Jim and Jeff Wakeman (#42 – 3 Pedal Mafia) That finally got to wear the white dress.
And a final special mention to our one lone motorcycle class competitor.  Motorcycles compete in the same respective class as cars open or banger and Kevin Rozman of team 13 – Rhymes with Hug Me did one heck of a solo ride from Ohio to NJ just to make the event and then competed as not only our first ever Motorcycle class participant but also our only solo member team.  Then rode back to Ohio the next day.  Oh to be young again!  Kevin, you rock, thanks for joining us!

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One Response to Explore the Shore wrapup

  1. avatar blamberton says:

    One of the best times I’ve ever had in an organized automotive event. Great challenges, great people, PERFECT weather, and just a wonderful time all around. Congrats to the winners, and congrats to the hard-working organizers for putting together a heck of an event! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

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