Riding dirty

OMAO — If you’re afraid of getting dirty, this was not the place to be.

The Garden Island Motorcycle Club, in partnership with Kuhio Auto Group, hosted the Kauai Mud Out 2015 on Sunday in Omao.

“It’s about getting together, having some good, old-fashioned country music, mud bogging and (having) a day in the sun,” said GIMC president Bertram Almeida.

About 65 drivers competed in the mud bogging event. The objective was to drive one’s vehicle as far as possible through a mud pit which was 175 feet long and about 3 to 4 feet deep.

Those who got stuck along the way were dragged out with the help of heavy machinery.

“It’s a lot of fun, but (the pit is) really deep. I don’t think anybody made it yet,” said participant Anson Panui of Lihue, who drove his 1989 Chevy nicknamed “Little Toe 2.”

“I got at least halfway,” Panui said of his run. “You try to make your own tracks and try to get through.”

The drivers tried their best to make it the entire 175-foot distance, but most fell short midway.

One participant was Gerald Preston Jr. of Oahu, who drove a 700-horsepower vehicle. Spectators crowded in anticipation of finally seeing a driver cover the whole distance. But as powerful as his vehicle was, he, too, fell short about halfway through.

“As soon as I hit the pit, I felt I went airborne. I couldn’t see anything. My helmet was full of mud. When I came down, my motor just died,” Preston said. “I was upset, myself. I couldn’t put on a better show for everyone.”

“On Oahu, they closed down all the tracks. The last time we did it was in ‘09,” he added. “When we found out they were having one up here, we didn’t hesitate. We said ‘We’re coming.’”

About 4,000 spectators gathered in Omao to watch.

“I think it’s awesome. I think they should do it every year,” said onlooker Josiah Lauama of Kalaheo.

Aside from the main event, spectators had the chance to win some money in the Dash for Cash contest. There were three races, varying by age, in which contestants ran through the mud pit to the finish line — with $100 on the line.

“I was on the edge, so it wasn’t that deep. But in the middle, I’m looking at everybody right when they started running and they went down,” said Yizo Delos Reyes, who ran in the 21-and-over Dash for Cash race.

He added that although he didn’t win the cash prize, he entered just to have fun and to entertain the crowd.

“I thought I had a chance, but I hit a tire track and I went down. I saw everybody running. I tried to run again but it’s hard to get back up,” Delos Reyes said.

In other competition, Phoenix Longley of Kilauea finished first in the Daisy Duke Look-Alike contest and won the $250 cash prize.

This was the first time in over a decade that a local mud bogging event was held. Almeida said it was an honor to help bring the event back. He hopes to have it again next year.

“There’s a multitude of people that are involved. Just very fortunate to be part of it,” Almeida said. “There was so much interest. It was an effort from the whole island, actually, to have the event.”

A portion of the event’s proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society and to a local couple, Ed and Carol Horner of Kekaha, who are both battling cancer.

“Ed Horner was my football coach from my Pop Warner days,” Almeida said. “Of course, it’s affecting a lot of people — the American Cancer Society. And the whole family.”

View full results at www.gimc.us.

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