By Michael Shassere, aka Tour Master
The really good pictures by Nicolas Shassere
Boxstoberfest 2018 from an Event Organizer’s Perspective
The weather apps didn’t show we were looking for a banner weekend. Rain is forecast for the entire weekend, and there are lots of emails between myself and participants asking if the event will be canceled or postponed. Cancellation or rescheduling is not really an option, as events of this size require reservations many months in advance with non-cancellable deposits – so we push forward.
Several scouting runs are sent out to pre-drive the routes and all reported back the roads are all open with no flooding, significant rock falls or construction.
Final counts of participant numbers are called in to the Hangar Hotel for dinner reservations (extra bar staff prepped, diner dolls staged for early breakfast, and the main desk primed for whatever is to come). The Frio Canyon Grill prepared for the lunch crowd, 290 Winery Tours scheduled to/from two 25-passenger buses for the Wine Tour, and Fredericks Convention Bureau contacted, and dozens of other details tied up.
Our sponsors: Xpel Products, VP Racing Fuels, Porsche San Antonio make final preparations for displays, door prizes and presentation, and all the other support organizations and vendors who help make this event work come together.
Getting to Fredericksburg is the First Challenge
I have to get goodie bag stuffers (products from the sponsors), the physical goodie bags, and various give aways for 200 people into a Boxster, plus 300 cones to direct traffic on the airport tarmac, advertising material, laptop, printer, nametags, award certificates, waivers, PCA paperwork and whatever else you can think of.
Yes, we park on an active airport taxiway as this is the only place to fit 100+ cars and we do have special FAA variance to do this.
Then, space for a passenger and luggage. A Boxster has an incredible amount of room as long as you use every square inch of space – and believe me we used it all.
Planning, Preparation for Months – Then the Fun Begins
Thursday night arrival isn’t very exciting which is expected (and very welcomed from the organizers perspective).
A few other attendees are here but most are just settling in and planning to do the Friday pre-drives of the main events. The pre-drives are “on-your-own” map only drives of any of the main Saturday events. Just grab the map and spend the day in the Texas Hill Country enjoying the scenery at your own pace.
Friday things start to happen.
More people arrive, and the first official event takes place – the winery tour. 290 Wine Tours provided two 25-person buses which were quickly filled with thirsty participants. The groups then set off to tour 4 of the local wineries.
Other participants arrive and start filling up the hotel as Nicolas and myself sorted pre-ordered t-shirts, stuffed goodie bags and prepared for registration. Promptly at 6:00, registration opens, participants signed in, got their welcome packages, shirts, and sponsor bling. And the rain starts.
Saturday morning starts off relatively calm. It’s not raining so setting the cones up to keep the cars out of active runways progresses quickly with lots of volunteers helping.
Xpel Products and VP Racing are busy setting up their displays, and early risers are parking their cars before the sun had risen. At sunrise, the cars start rolling in – dozens at a time, and the tarmac is beginning to fill up.
After lining up and allowing everyone to get pictures of the impressive car show, things got down to business – drivers meeting, final instructions, and launch (organized chaos).
The morning runs were encumbered with rain – not a lot and nothing that caused flooding and high water in the creek crossings but enough to slow the groups down a lot.
Regardless, everyone arrived at the Frio Canyon Bike Stop safe and sound for a fabulous BBQ lunch. Stories abounded of the morning activities and many first-time attendees marveled at the beauty and diversity of the Texas Hill Country.
After lunch the groups departed for the final leg, the rain let off, roads dried and participants got to enjoy the drives even more. All the drive groups arrived back at the Hangar Hotel safe and sound, enjoyed a few adult beverages and prepared for the awards dinner.
The closing dinner was well attended at the Pacific Showroom in the Hangar Hotel. Attendees enjoyed a fabulous dinner, great friends, wonderful beverages and quite a few door prizes.
Awards were presented for the various events, and the key award for Most Accurate at the rally course went once again to Brian Morgan and his lovely wife Stephanie.
Despite the weather, 190 Porsche enthusiasts enjoyed a great weekend celebrating our Porsches, old friends, new friends, and lasting memories.
Save the Date!
We will do this again on September 6-7-8, 2019!