BRAILLE RALLY 2013 – A Great Day to be Out DRIVING!!
Sunday, April 7th proved to be a lovely day for the 42nd Running of the Braille Rally, and this great Delaware Region event has given bragging rights for the year to two new winners! Again, working with our friends at Brandywine Motorsport Club, smiling faces were quite abundant all afternoon as our clubs put on a great afternoon of fun for the Delaware Association for the Blind (DAB). After two cancellations in 2012, this day made up for the missed attempts!
WHAT IS A BRAILLE RALLY? -
The Braille Rally combines a visually impaired navigator reading the driving directions in Braille to the driver. It’s up to the driver to follow those directions and stay on course AND on time!
OFF WE GO -
We gathered at Brandywine Springs Park at 1 PM where the navigators were paired up with their drivers for the day. After a brief instructional meeting, the first car departed to run the Rally course promptly at 2:01 and 14 more cars were off at one minute intervals.
BMC Rallymaster George Alderman dug deep into the archives and pulled out the 1982 version of the Braille Rally. The pass through checkpoints on the course made things a little easier on the drivers this year, BUT some of them stopped anyway! Your score for the legs were the difference of when you passed by the checkpoint and when you were calculated to pass that point. This is a simple calculation of time, speed and distance. Just when you thought it was ok to speed up and then stop and rest for a while, you got zapped with a hidden check point!
BACK AT LANDIS LODGE -
It took just under two hours to cover the course and everyone made it safely back to the Landis Lodge. While we were waiting for the pizza to arrive, all participants had a great time socializing with their navigators, talking about what went right (or wrong!) and also with the other drivers. It was a great time for the visually impaired to catch up with each other, too.
WHO WON? -
First place went to the team of Kat Bottner and PCA Driver Vince Crognale. Their total time amounted to being just 177 point off of perfect course time. Both Kat and Vince are seasoned Braille Rallyists so CONGRATS to them!
Second place went to the team of Art Cohen and PCA Driver Bill Cooper. Their total time amounted to just 226 short of a perfect course time score. Again, both are experienced Rallyists!
Third place went to the team of Bev Weiland and her Service Dog, Ira, and her driver-husband Bruce Chernesky! Their total time amounted to just 405 points. Bev and Bruce finished 14th in the last Braille rally, so what a great improvement!
WHAT DID THEY WIN? –
All drivers and navigators received a Braille Rally T-Shirt and the all navigators received participation trophies, which this year was a Loving Cup on a marble base.
First, Second and Third Place navigators and drivers received a larger trophy, with the navigators also receiving a $100/$50/$25Visa Gift Card. And we can’t forget about Last Place. Last place got an award, too! Named after our Braille Rally founder, “The Renee O’Leary Best Chance of Improvement for the next Braille Rally”, gets you a $25 Visa Gift Card, too. This award is named for Renee as she started this rally back in the early 70’s while recovering from throat cancer. The winners of the Last Place award will remain nameless! Those of us that were there know who they are!!
Porsche of Delaware generously supports this event each year donating T-Shirts to all navigators, drivers and course workers. They’ve been doing this since our Region became involved in this event back in 2002 and we thank them very much for their continued support.
DRIVERS and COURSE WORKERS-
We had two BMC drivers, one Mom, one Husband, and 10 PCA members. Ohio PCA Member David Owen made the trek back to Delaware again this year finishing 2 places better in sixth this year. Come back any time, David! Zone 2 Rep Tom Zafferano drove for the first time this year finishing 7th, a very respectable finish.
Other PCA members that participated were Debbie Cooper, Jon Walton, Alex Witham, Mike Fox, and Bill Boyd. BMC members Liz Haines and Jim Martin were also drivers! Thanks also go to PCA Member Dave Dabell and BMC Members Pat Phalen, Willis Weldin, Don and Charlotte Short, and especially, Rally Master George Alderman! Also thanks to PCA Member John Kassay and new DAB Executive Director Janet Berry for running the “sweep car” to pick up the lost sheep.
HAPPY NEWS -
Happy News- We welcome Janet Berry as the new Executive Director of the DAB! She rode in the sweep car with John Kassay. While they were not competing and just out following directions, their "unofficial" time was only good enough to tie for 4th! Hmmm..... Maybe next year, Janet can learn Braille!
Sure! Check HERE