Porsches and Water Mix Well… EGR PCA Kayak Adventure

Porsches and Water Mix Well… EGR PCA Kayak Adventure

On April 14, 18 EGR PCA members ventured into Tarpon Bay at the Ding Darling Natural Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island for 2 hours of kayaking led by our expert guide, Wendy. The group followed the Commodore Creek Kayak Trail from the Tarpon Bay Explorers outpost, where we got up close and personal with mangroves as well as aquatic and aviary wildlife. Wendy shared her knowledge of the beautiful and fragile ecology of this protected area.

Experienced paddlers partnered with novices in tandem kayaks and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the adventure. The sunny weather was perfect and an incoming tide made the outgoing trip quite an easy paddle. Less favorable tides and winds added slightly more exercise on the return trip. Everglades Region PCA members proved just as adept at maneuvering kayaks around the water as their Porsches on the track.

Participants saw an abundance of cormorants, horseshoe crabs, kites and jumping mullets. Our very own Chris and Jenny Branston, notorious for their fishing skills, had a yellow-tailed snapper jump out of the water directly into their kayak. The snapper’s bid to serve as lunch was sadly rejected; it was immediately dispatched back into Commodore Creek.

After burning off some calories in the kayaks, we were ready to fuel up! We caravanned through the beauty of Sanibel Island and over the magical Sanibel causeway back to the Wassersugs’ home on the Caloosahatchee River. We enjoyed drinks and a fabulous lunch of pulled pork, sausage, salad and more prepared by Faith and Steve. Additional wildlife sightings from the Wassersugs’ dock closed out a fantastic day of cars, kayaks and camaraderie.

“Almost Cuba” Mystery-Puzzle-Clue Rally Takes EGR PCA to “Havana”

“Almost Cuba” Mystery-Puzzle-Clue Rally Takes EGR PCA to “Havana”

On April 8, 40 Everglades PCA members gathered with their Porsches under a perfect blue sky to participate in the “Almost Cuba” mystery-puzzle-clue rally organized by Jenny & Chris Branston. At 9:40 AM, all the participants zeroed out their odometers on Corkscrew Road in Estero and began to follow the Branstons’ scenic backroads route through farmland and swamp. Along the way, photo locations were identified and puzzle questions answered.

The 93-mile course went from Estero to Immokalee, Sunniland, Jerome, Copeland and Everglades City before arriving in Chokoloskee. Colorful local history lessons were studied en route, courtesy of our favorite teacher, Mrs. Branston. We learned about Sunniland’s place in Florida history as the first oil site here, Jerome’s logging history and continuing issues with creosote and Copeland’s history as a tomato town. We also learned about the lucrative “square grouper” catches in Everglades City during the 1980s.

The surprise destination was the Havana Café in Chokoloskee. A leisurely lunch of Cuban food was enjoyed by all under shady umbrellas in a lush garden oasis filled with bougainvillea, orchids, palms and shells.

Numerous prizes were distributed at the Havana Cafe ranging from first to fifteenth place. The rally was not a competition of speed but rather one of observation and intellect. Debbi and Jim McCarthy took home the first place award; they amazingly identified all 12 photo locations correctly in addition to high marks on the puzzle questions.

There was also an art project contest during lunch– decorating a photo frame with found objects on the rally. Mary-Jo and Mike Andrade won first place. They were the only contestants who creatively decorated both the front and the back sides of the frame, both sides featuring photos of their much-loved dog.

After lunch attendees took scenic 41 or the faster and less scenic I-75 back from Chokoloskee. Those who chose 41 enjoyed expansive Everglades views as well as some spirited driving on 951. Seemingly every radio station played, appropriately, “Havana, ooh na na, half of my heart is in Havana” the whole way home…

Where to next? The WOTY (Weekend of the Year) will be held in the Keys at the end of April with approximately 90 EGR PCA members attending. Visit our calendar at the bottom of the homepage and download the WOTY flyer for more details.

Everglades Region PCA Turns Out for the B.I.G. Car Show

Everglades Region PCA Turns Out for the B.I.G. Car Show

Members of the Everglades Region Porsche Club once again enjoyed participating in the well-planned B.I.G. (British-Italian-German) car show. Mother nature was kind to all the cars and their owners, bringing balmy weather and clear skies.

This year, eleven Porsches were entered in the various Porsche classes under the German car category. Entrants included 911s, Caymans, Boxsters and Front Engine models. In addition to the highlight of viewing all of the beautiful cars displayed around the park, the Boy Scouts did a commendable job keeping participants fed, hydrated and happy by selling burgers, hotdogs and drinks. Another highlight – at least for the members of the Everglades Region PCA – was the debut of the region’s new canopy, which proudly displays our logo, letting fellow Porsche owners easily locate club members.

It was certainly a tough job for the judges… as all of the cars, regardless of make or class, were worthy of an award.

This year the People’s Choice Awards went to the following winning Porsches and their owners:
G7 Class (Porsche 914, 924, 944, 968, 928)
1st Place: 1976 Porsche 914 owned by Michael and Pat Grishman
G8 Class (Porsche water-cooled)
1st Place: 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo owned by Michael Andrade
2nd Place: 2015 Porsche Cayman GTS owned by Gladwyn Lopez
G10 Class (other)
1st Place: 1967 Volkswagon Bus Type 2 owned by Ralph Pignataro
Unfortunately, entrants in the G6 class (air-cooled) were unable to attend this year’s event as originally planned… hopefully they will make it next year.

Everglades PCA has many more events scheduled over the next few months including: theater/dinner events, kayaking in Ding Darling Wildlife Sanctuary, autocross, road rallies, and the wonderful weekend of the year (WOTY) in the Florida Keys. Come join us! As always, we welcome your feedback about our events, activities you’d like to see us schedule, and ways to improve outreach and communication throughout the region.

AutoQuest of SW FL Hosts Everglades PCA Valentines Day Party

AutoQuest of SW FL Hosts Everglades PCA Valentines Day Party

Thanks to the great support from our hosts at AutoQuest -Gavin, Amy, and Meagan- more than 80 Everglades PCA members and friends kicked off Valentine’s Day in great style in a nightclub setting complete with mood lighting, awesome cars, and great food and drink. The party provided the opportunity to welcome new and potential members to PCA, and to say hello to PCA members from other parts of the country who are enjoying all that southwest Florida has to offer during our busy winter season.

President Dave Noelken welcomed us all and mentioned that our club is one of the fastest growing in the US, thanks in great part to past leadership from Chris Branston. Gavin and Amy also provided gifts, held a Porsche quiz, and made a generous $1000 donation to the Galisano Children’s Hospital in Ft Myers.

The spotlight was certainly on cars that evening! Enjoying the spotlight inside AutoQuest was the impressive 918 e-hybrid, worth over $2 million, and the gorgeous Valentine-red Porsche Spider. Outside in the parking area, members spent time enjoying each other’s vehicles, including the stable of racing cars that Amy and Gavin have on display. Best of luck to Gavin when he powers one up Pikes Peak in an upcoming race.

We are grateful to our volunteer members who helped with parking, venue setup, club clothing sales, and tending to food and drink, and who made the Valentine atmosphere special for all.

Everglades PCA has many more events scheduled over the next 4 months including: theater/dinner events, kayaking in Ding Darling Wildlife Sanctuary, autocross, road rallies, Everblades hockey, Koreshan tour and lunch, and the wonderful weekend of the year (WOTY) in the Florida Keys. Come join us! As always, we welcome your feedback about our events, activities you’d like to see us schedule, and ways to improve outreach and communication throughout the region.

SoloPro Driving School Raises the Bar

SoloPro Driving School Raises The Bar

Everglades Region played host to the SoloPro Driving School at Buckingham Airfield on February 11th. Thanks to generous sponsorship from Porsche of Naples and Porsche of Fort Myers, ten drivers had the opportunity to hone their autocross skills in this day long program. On hand to instruct were three national level drivers including:

Tim Aro
SoloPro Driving School Founder, Tim began autocrossing in 1994 and has over a decade of professional autocross teaching experience. Some of Tim’s results include the 2011 SCCA Solo National Championship piloting a CSP Miata built by his brother Harry, a 2001 ProSolo Class Championship, 2004 SCCA Solo National Championhip, recipient of the 2004 SCCA Solo Driver of the Year award, and has been runner-up more than a dozen times in Solo and ProSolo National Championship competition. Tim has also competed in rallycross, road racing, endurance karting and motocross. Tim was the Gumout All-Star Challenge runner-up at the 2011 National Championships and 1st runner-up in CSP in both 2012 and 2013.

Neal Tovsen
Neal has been autocrossing since ’97 and has been competing nationally for over 10 years. Starting with his first ProSolo class trophy in 2001, he has earned numerous national-level trophies, culminating in three consecutive 2nd place finishes at the SCCA Solo Nationals. Most recently, Neal over came challenging mechanical issues to finish an impressive 2nd in CSP at the 2014 Solo National Championships. After a decade as a highly-respected regional instructor, he started teaching professionally in 2008.

In Car Coaching

Jonathan Roberts
Jonathan began autocrossing in late 1990’s and has over 5 years of professional autocross teaching experience. Multi-time SCCA ProSolo Class Champion and SCCA Solo Champion. He also has countless SCCA ProSolo and National Tour wins over the years.

The curriculum featured a blend of classroom style chalk talks, group track walks and behind the wheel instruction. Drivers, tires and brakes were put to the test over the course of 30 timed runs each. Things got even more interesting mid-afternoon when rain rolled through the area, providing an opportunity for track time in the wet.

Special thanks to Gulfcoast Autocrossers for lending track and timing support and to Famous Dave’s for delivering lunch to the circuit.

Track Walk

More event photos can be viewed in the Autocross Gallery on this website.

Want to come out and play? Watch the Everglades Region calendar for more 2018 autocross events including “A Taste of Autocross”, for members new to the sport, and a 2-day SoloPro Driving School late in the year.

2018 Cars on Fifth Show

2018 Cars on 5th Show

Everglades Region PCA cars made up a large portion of the 70 Porsches on display at the February 10, 2018 Cars on Fifth show in downtown Naples. The show, organized by the Ferrari Club of Naples, featured over 575 private entries and dealer cars. Rarely can such a superb collection of exotics and collector cars be found in one location, and there were plenty of enthusiasts on hand to enjoy the show. The attendance estimates numbered over 50,000, and there was lots to see and enjoy on this lovely sunny day.

Cars on 5th is also about helping the community and giving to those in need. Donations from the attendees and individual contributions to featured charities have raised over $850,000 over the past 13 years. The 2018 14th Annual Cars on 5th benefitted St. Matthew’s House, which for over thirty years has provided innovative solutions to fight homelessness, hunger, substance abuse, and poverty in Southwest Florida.

2018 Theater Events at the Florida Repertory Theater

2018 Theater Events at the Florida Repertory Theater

On January 27, Thirty Everglades Region Porsche Club members spent a wonderful evening together in Fort Myers City, dining at the Twisted Vine and enjoying the hilarious play “How the Other Half Loves” at the nationally acclaimed Florida Repertory Theater.

We dined in a candle lit courtyard reserved for our members, and enjoyed a great social setting, an excellent dinner, and complementary wine. The play was non-stop laughter, and the extraordinarily complex stage set and staging of actors and actresses added to the hilarity. Paxton Whitehead, an Emmy award star who has performed for many years on Broadway, London theater, and major television series, was the lead, supported by a wonderful Equity cast.

Everglades PCA arranged for our group to enjoy a call back after the performance. Actors spent almost an hour with us, answering questions about the play, their lives, funny experiences on stage, and why they chose acting as a profession. To our delight, after the call back, we were invited on stage for further exchanges in this informal setting.

While the number of seats we reserve in advance is limited, we welcome Everglades Region PCA members to sign up for our next outing, the musical CABARET on Saturday, March 24th. We welcome your ideas for other theater events in our Region.

Track Opportunities in South Florida

Track Opportunities in South Florida

Porsches have always been bred for the race track. So it’s only natural that PCA members look for opportunities to test themselves and their cars at the track. We are blessed to have Sebring, a world renowned circuit in our backyard and Homestead Miami Speedway a short drive across Alligator Alley. Driver Education (DE) or High Performance Driving Events (HPDE) offer an opportunity to learn to drive on a real race track. You typically drive in a run group of similarly skilled drivers and, if you are new to DE, an instructor will be assigned to guide you through the entire process / course. You will acquire the knowledge and develop the skills needed to drive safely at a high rate of speed. The goal is to have safe, high-speed fun.

Although Everglades Region is not currently hosting DE or HPDE events, our members can register for events hosted by other PCA regions and track day groups. There is significant cost to rent a track like Sebring and a core team of enthusiast, volunteers are needed to run the program and instruct. We don’t have that critical mass yet, but do have potential to co-sponsor with another organization. We’ll keep you posted as that develops.

In the interim, interested Everglades Region members are referred to our neighboring PCA regions. Suncoast Region ( http://suncoastpca.org ) and Gold Coast ( http://www.goldcoastregion.org ) frequently host events. In addition, PBOC Motorsports Club ( http://pbocflorida.com/ ) and Chin Motorsports ( http://www.chinmotorsports.com ) schedule events locally and nationally. Full schedules and details are available on their respective websites. Once registration opens, you need to act fast since these programs fill quickly. Here are some of the upcoming events in South Florida:

Date Organizer Track
February 17-18 Chin Sebring
February 23-24 Suncoast/ Goldcoast Sebring
March 24-25 PBOC/ Goldcoast Homestead Miami
March 24-25 Chin Sebring

Shrimp Boil Potluck at the Wallens

Shrimp Boil Potluck at the Wallens in Golden Gate Estates

A big thank you to Tim and Linda Wallen for their hospitality on January 28, 2018. The Wallens hosted the Everglades Region PCA at their shop in Golden Gate Estates for a traditional shrimp boil party. If you didn’t attend, you missed out on their savory mix of shrimp, corn and potatoes boiled with a top-secret recipe. Attendance was capped at 75 members, who also brought side dishes and desserts like homemade key lime pie. A great time was had by all — it’s not just the cars, it’s the people!

Everglades Region PCA Members Explore the Revs Institute

Everglades Region PCA Members Explore the Revs Institute

On January 19, the Everglades Region PCA rendezvoused 64 vehicles for a road rally down to the Revs Institute in Naples. It was a great turn out with 110 people viewing the exclusive Collier Collection of vintage automobiles. Guests enjoyed a private docent led tour and learned about the history of car racing and the evolution of the automobile.

Imagine seeing the very first Porsche 550-01, Gary Cooper’s short-chassis 1935 Duesenberg SSJ and the very first Ferrari race car to be imported to the United States…..very impressive! The technical innovation required in developing these cars was fascinating. Over 100 of the rarest and most technically advanced vehicles for their time ever built were on display. The Revs library includes rare books, photographs and priceless documents, and is a great place to research the history of your own vehicle.

After the tour the group enjoyed a beautiful lunch at various restaurants in Naples including beachfront dining at LaPlaya Resort. It was such a great day. A big thank you to JP and Valerie Petracco for spearheading this event with the help of fellow members Tom Kring and Tom Pitser.