Written by By Hanks Menkes, Craig Ploetner, Gary Koupf, Akemi Kane & Murray Kane
Each year the New Member Liaison Chairs with coordination of several other NNJR chairs organizes events geared to introduce new members to several NNJR-PCA activities. One such event is usually held in early May of each year. The timing being such that new member participants after being exposed to these programs will have the balance of the year to participate in the activities of interest to them. This year on May 7, we held the “Welcome To The Club Event” that combined a morning Concours, lunch and an afternoon Rally. The following is a description of the week leading up to the event and the day of through the eyes of the organizers.
All: All week we watched the weather forecast for Saturday May 7 with trepidation. The weatherman was playing with our emotions daily. Every day brought a different forecast – one day partly cloudy, the next rain all day. Friday’s forcast was mixed with a 30% chance of rain in the late afternoon. This gave hope we could get the entire event in without the weather interfering. As anyone who has attended this event in recent years can attest, the weather has not always been the most cooperative. We have had every manner of weather conditions from freezing cold to pouring rain. As Saturday dawned the sky appeared mostly clear with a few scattered clouds. Great! As you probably know, a big part of any successful outdoor event, especially a concours, is dry weather as many concours enthusiasts will not take their prized Porsches out of the garage at the slightest hint of rain.
Murray: Having worked all night prior to the event in my windowless office at my place of employment, and leaving at 5:00am and finding it had not rained was very uplifting. First order of business was a stop for ice and fresh bagels. Great combo! This accomplished, I headed home. Arriving at the house at 5:40am, I found Akemi already up and packing the victuals for breakfast and lunch. By 6:15am we were out the door and on our way to Dunkin Donuts.
Akemi: Having set the alarm for 5:00am, I was already packing for the event as Murray walked in the door. We quickly loaded the goodies into the SUV and we were on our way. One stop for breakfast, coffee and donuts, and we were on our way again. We arrived at the gate of Schooley’s Mountain State Park at 7:30am to find the Park Police had already opened the gate for us.
Murray: 7:30am and the gate is open. Good news. We can go in and start setting up. Marlys and Dennis arrived shortly thereafter with the registration forms and table. Here they come. It is not even 8:00am and the Concours crowd is starting to arrive. First in is John Griffith followed by Jeff McFadyen with his gorgeous just restored 356. WOW! Wonder if he would consider selling it to me?
Akemi: 7:40am and it looks like a good weather day. A little nippy, but the sky is mostly clear. Where is Craig? It is not like him not to be one of the first arrivals. Here he comes. Turns out he got stuck behind a slow moving dump truck with no opportunity to pass. Time to set up the breakfast table.
Craig: 7:45am. Those dump trucks will get you every time. Left the house in plenty of time only to be held hostage. Oh well, the rest of the crew had matters well in hand as I pulled in.
Hank: 8:00am. Breakfast is out. First priorities first! Time to start registration for the Concours entrants. Judging from the amount of cars that have already arrived, we should have a strong turnout. Good weather always helps.
Murray: 8:30am. Craig and Marlys are registering the entrants, Akemi is handing out the raffle tickets and goody bags. Dennis and I start taking picture of the entrants as they arrive. It is early and we already have a fantastic group of cars to photograph. Howard Mintz just arrived. Now we can turn the photographic duties over to a true professional.
Akemi: 9:00am. I have given out half the goodie bags. That means we already have twenty-five entrants. Murray tells me he is going to make an offer to Jeff McFadyen for his 356. I say, not until you buy me the new Panamera you promised. Probably the last time today we will have that discussion.
Hank: 930am. Time for the judges meeting. I was a little concerned earlier in the day if we would have enough judges, but my worries we unfounded. We have three teams of three. Just what we need for this size group.
Craig: 10:00am. Judging starts. Excellent variety of Porsches spanning from the 1950’s to present. Enough to make any Porsche lover’s head spin.
Gary: 10:30am. Arrived to find a field of over 30 incredibly beautiful Porsches. I do not know where to begin looking. I see breakfast is out. Well I guess I will start there.
Murray: 10:45am. Time to pick up the six-foot subs for lunch. I told the sandwich shop I would pick them up at 10:00am. I always do this when I order, with the hope all will be ready when I arrive. I am not good at waiting for things I order ahead of time.
Akemi: 11:00am. Murray’s plan almost worked, except for the fact that the shop had a gas scare and had to evacuate. They recovered quickly and we are on our way in 15 minutes.
Gary: 11:30am. I see the Kane’s busy at the pavilion setting up for lunch. Let me go take a look. Six-foot subs, salads, chips, cookies and a selection of beverages. You can always count on Akemi and Murray Kane for a great meal.
Hank: 12:00pm. Concours scoring is complete. Checked with Murray and Akemi. Lunch is ready. Get on the bullhorn and call everyone to the pavilion for lunch and Concours award presentation.
Craig: 12:15 pm. I announce the winners and hand out the awards. Hank gives each participant their score sheets. After the awards presentation is completed we hold the first part of the raffle with Steve Kroeger wining first prize, a P21 detailing kit donated by event sponsor Car Care Specialties. Dennis takes a group picture of all the winners. What a clean looking bunch!
Murray: 12:50pm. With lunch over Akemi is trying to persuade me to run the Rally. I was previously of the mind set we would be to busy, but as she pointed out there was nothing else we needed to do at this time.
Akemi: 12:51pm. Mission accomplished. I knew he would see it my way.
Murray: 12:52pm. I run down to the registration table, pay Marlys the entrance fee and register. We are car (SUV) #12. Both Porsches are home in the garage, as we needed to carry all the supplies to the event.
Gary: 1:00 pm. Time for the Rally School. With eleven teams, six of which were novices, the school was well attended. Peter Schneider, who was kind enough to write the Rally despite a very busy schedule, passed out the route instructions. Unlike most Rally Meisters, Peter likes to give Rally participants plenty of time to review the instructions, so confident is he in his ability to trip you up with his tricks and traps. More often than not this is the reality. I go through the rally generals, terms and take questions.
Peter: 1:30pm. I review the Rally instructions with the assembled group. Do not want anyone getting lost on one of my Rallies. Really!
Gary: 2:01pm. First car off. I head out to my check point. So do Peter and Joanne Schneider. Knute and Shirley Hancock wait until all teams leave as their check point is near the entrance to the park .Of course Peter would not want you to know this as most Rallies end well before the final assembly point.
Murray: 2:12pm. We depart on our Rally adventure. Akemi is the driver and I am the navigator. We found this to be the best combination for the health of our marriage.
Peter: 2:15pm. I know car #1 should have passed me long ago.
Akemi: 2:30pm. I am not use to Rallying in an SUV, but I feel I am on my game today.
Murray: 2:45pm. So far I think I have caught all of Peter’s tricks.
Gary: 3:00pm. I wonder what happened to car # 1.
Akemi: 3:30pm. We are back and feel we had a good rally. It is a good thing we held to the route CAS to the end as we see Knute and Shirley are the last checkpoint just before the entrance to the park. Peter did hint at this in his instructions.
Gary: 4:00 pm. Dennis is working on the Rally scores. Car #1 is not back yet and no one has seen them.
Peter: 4:05 PM Only one car lost. I have to remember to use a few more traps next Rally.
Murray: 4:30pm. Dennis hands the results to Gary. Gary first announces to the group that this year’s competitors finishing third or better, in addition to receiving a plaque, will also each be given an NNJR-PCA engraved beer glass. This really builds the tension to hear the results. One look at this beautiful glass and everyone in the group is hoping to finish high enough to take one home to enjoy a cool one.
Gary: 4:35pm. Car #1 finally returns. I read out the results and make the trophy presentations. The Team of Cora Nasello and Elcin Yildrim take home the Gold in Novice with a score of 285. Less than 3 minutes off a perfect score. First place in the Experienced category goes to Murray & Akemi Kane with an score of 58.
Akemi: 4:45pm. After consulting with Dennis and reviewing the final results of the Concours and Rally we have determine the winner of the “2011 Welcome To The Club Overall Winner” Award.
Murray: 4:50pm. Akemi picks the winners of the final raffle prizes. The team of Bob and Shirley Boushell has both winning tickets. Now it is time to make the final award presentation. I make the announcement and do the presentation. The winners of the “2011 Welcome To The Club Overall Winner“ trophy goes to the team of Kevin Fitzsimmons and Ann Rock. Congratulations Kevin and Ann!
Gary: 4:55pm. Time for a group photo of the winners and as mentioned earlier, here comes the rain, but at this point it is too late to dampen anyone spirits. All in all, a great day!
All: We hope all the event participants and spectators had a wonderful time and we will see much of you in the future. The NNJR calendar is full of events for you to enjoy. Be a part of the NNJR experience!
The Rally, Concours and New Member Chairs would like to give a special thanks to Marlys and Dennis Thovson, Knute and Shirley Hancock, Peter and Joanne Schneider and the team of Concours judges for helping to make the event the success it was.