After Nashville, we got a few short days home before heading to Lewes, DE. It was the second year for this event, which grew by nearly 10 teams over 2013. The small tourist community hosts this race every year as a fundraiser for Sussex Academy Foundation, and as a sort of end of tourist season party for locals. The people here, near Rehoboth Beach, know how to have a great time. They bring it to practice and race day.
The venue is a park on a canal which is lined by docked boats and restaurants. People cheer as we practice and chant on race day as well while enjoying food and beverages at these establishments.
During practice week we were reunited with some of the teams we coached the previous year. We get attached to some of the team members, so it’s always fun to see them again. We also got the chance to introduce some new teams to the sport. My sister-in-law, who has been training to steer, got to coach her first team of kids from the Sussex Academy. She was proud when they made it to the finals.
We had some rain on our last day of practices, but race day was beautiful. The teams were excited and a huge crowd of spectators gathered once again to watch. Race day went well. The day flowed as planned. Marshaling was right on time and races went off like clockwork. The mobile app we have has been helping teams know when to marshal and then also gives users immediate results.
When the teams advancing to finals was announced, the long awaited steerers auction was about to start. Last year in Lewes, the auction brought in $14,000. Everyone anticipated how much it would raise for the Sussex Academy this year. When the moment came and the professional auctioneer did his thing encouraging everyone to pick their money where their competitive spirit was, the auction raised an amazing $39,000! You can’t beat a great time and raising money for kids.