Dirty driving

OMAO — The third annual Mud Out, hosted by the Garden Island Motorcycle Club and Kuhio Kustoms by Kuhio Auto Group, took place Sunday in Omao.

About 60 drivers put on a muddy spectacle in front of a crowd of about 5,000, said GIMC president Bertram Almeida.

“I was asking some other people, and they all agreed that it was anywhere between 4-5,000 people,” Almeida said after the event. “So, I’d like to think it was a successful event. No one really got injured. I think we had a little mishap early in the morning, but for the most part nobody got hurt. I think we ran a safe event.”

Contestants drove their trucks through a mud pit, which was about 300 feet long and about 5 feet deep, as fast as possible.

A new addition this year: Drivers also had to deal with obstacles inside the pit.

Kuhio Auto Group owner Ryan Mackey “changed things up a little bit,” Almeida said. “We put a couple of bumps in there to slow people down, and extended the pit out a little bit. It was just a little bit more challenging, a little bit more technical. Drivers had to think a little bit more rather than just flooring it down and going straight.”

“It was different. It was new. There was some people that was skeptical,” Almeida added. “However, I think in the end after it was all said and done, they had a good time. I think their vehicles performed better than expected. I think everybody left with a smile on their face.”

Marshall Camara of Lihue was the best overall winner. Topping the 6-cylinder class, Camara sped through the pit in 10.28 seconds.

“These guys, they put up all this money to build up their vehicles,” Almeida said. “They put in all this time. They got a lot of passion. It’s amazing. They come out. They’re competitors. They’re athletes just like anybody else who competes. They take their sport seriously. … They want to win. They’re not here to lose. You feel the energy. You feel that vibe, and it’s a good, positive feeling.”

The top-three placers in each of five classes — 4-cylinder, 6-cylinder, 8-cylinder, diesel and modified — won cash prizes.

First place winners received $500. Second placers got $250, and third placers got $100.

Also up for grabs was a $100 cash prize in the Dash For Cash contests, in which spectators volunteered to run through the mud pit toward the cash prize hanging on a rope.

The first to reach out and grab the prize claimed it.

“That was amazing — a bunch of kids getting dirty and running through the mud,” Almeida said. “I was talking to my friend earlier. I was just telling them it was really refreshing to see so many kids, you know, going in the mud and not paying attention to their iPhones, the internet or whatever else. It’s just getting back to the basics. Playing in the mud, how basic is that?”

Almeida said plans for the next Mud Out are already in the works.

“We’re already sitting down and trying to figure out how we can make it better, how we can make it a little bit more entertaining and how we can make it safer first and foremost,” he said. “I think we got a good formula. Ryan Mackey, he comes in with the support of the big car companies. I guess they call it a grassroots connection. Yeah, it’s just a good positive thing.”

Almeida added: “I’d like to thank everyone that showed up today, everyone that participated in making it a success. Also, I’d like to invite anyone who’s ever thought about coming out here to come out next year. Experience something for yourself that’s unique to Kauai.”

Winners

4-cylinder: 1. Peter Bierly, 13.19. 2. Jonah Nishi, 14.85. 3. Shane Silva, 18.40.

6-cylinder: 1. Marshall Camara, 10.28. 2. Robby Silva Jr., 10.50. 3. Jesse Vaughn, 11.43.

8-cylinder: 1. Jeff Kelekoma, 10.81. 2. Keldon Medeiros, 11.03. 3. Kaipo Pavao, 11.04.

Diesel: 1. Jarod Bernotovicz, 13.84. 2. Jason Camara, 14.57. 3. Jace Alquiza, 14.97.

Modified: 1. Robby Silva Jr., 151.11 feet. 2. Nikki Estacio, 154.09 feet.

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