Yes, there were fights. Yes, there were several accidents and lots of littering. And yes there were many shameful displays of immature defiance that will eventually lead to maybe not the demise of H20 International, but more likely the thinning out and ultimate watering down of an event that has come to mean to so much to our community of enthusiasts. We've seen it happen before. Waterfest once reigned supreme as the red circle on everyone's calendar that we all looked forward to each year. The exact same indestructible and immortal attitude prevailed at that show, as hotel guests trashed elevators, and burned tires to a crisp only yards from the entrance. And how did that all end? Well, many of today's enthusiasts may not be old enough to remember but I still have a very vivid image of a full fledged S.W.A.T van rolling up at our hotel teeming with angry law enforcement officers outfitted in full riot gear brandishing rifles and a directive to put an end to our fun. That seriously happened.
Fast forward a few years, and Waterfest still chugs on - but nowhere near the spectacle that it once was and it likely never will be. Such is the nature of things. We are definitely headed for the same result in Ocean City if things do not change, though.
Putting aside the mayhem and chaos, for those of us who were there to enjoy the company of friends we rarely see and actually check out the projects we follow so closely online, H2Oi delivered this year just as it always does. For many the tight knit hang out sessions in tucked away garages off the strip are what it's all about, and for a large majority of others the actual show, H2O International, is still the main draw and as good a reason as any to come to Ocean City. Despite some rumors we felt that attendance was very steady, as we were very busy selling all kinds of parts this year as always. The "Top Dawg" class exhibited very high quality builds that were deserving of the attention while the exhibition field had a varied and assorted group of equally interesting things to look at.
In the vendor area we were fortunate enough to have just enough time to chat with some old and some new (to us) peers in the industry. It was great to swap ideas and make some new connections that we feel will ultimately benefit everyone, including you as a customer. We also enjoy seeing other companies succeed and getting just enough time to kick it in their booths, seeing things from their perspective. I was able to sit in for a bit over at Orchid Euro and chat with quite a few foreigners who have made it stateside, putting the "international" in H2O international. The fellows from M.I.V.W. , Si Gray of PVW, Dan of the new branch of Orchid Euro, and Jamie its founder were just a few. We sticker bombed our friends trailer at NGP (as usual) and we compromised regarding a noisy generator with the nice guys from USP. Brad from Eurotrash spent a long time explaining his journey building a controversial VR6T 993 and the list goes on and on.
Overall it was mostly business as usual this year, but it's impossible not to feel the shift towards an impending meltdown, as history is primed to repeat itself, despite the fact those who are doing the ruining are completely oblivious to this as it often happens. We remain hopeful for the future of H2Oi and hopeful that decency will prevail before things wind up completely out of hand...
More than any other year before there were an abundance of non VAG vehicles.
Not everyone was being destructive
Frank's saucy MK1 (thanks for the seat delivery!)
Hate to see you leave, but love to see you go.
Balcony view, overlooking the strip and the chaos.
VR6T 993 in question. Apparently a minor fire broke out en route, but all ended well. Thumbs up for this build.
We retract of instagram post on this one - MK1 with Audi V8 drivetrain - not "R8"
Stunning fresh and clean Corrado
What it feels like to be an Orchid Euro employee.
This is Wagner, or as we call him Swagner. He is obsessed with pepperoni pizza and wiring engines. Rumor has it that he physically cannot tell time. He is from Curitiba, Brazil and vaguely reminds us of Fez from That "70's Show" His company is "Trackday In" and he was just one of the many interesting foreigners that we met this weekend.
H2O International 2014 Event Coverage