By Cindy Hoffman, Staff Writer
Camp Coast team emerges undefeated in competition for downtown racing glory
(June 15, 2023) Hundreds of people lined the streets to watch the 33rd Berlin Bathtub Races last Friday, and were treated to a series of flawless runs by this year’s championship team, Camp Coast.
The festivities began with the traditional parade, which was led by Mike Wiley in the uniform bathrobe and shower cap he has donned as a grand marshal of the parade for 12 years.
Bagpipes tune, soaring Frisbees and flying candy filled the air as the procession made its way down Main Street. Tutu-clad volunteers worked the crowd selling rubber ducks for the raffle.
While 19 teams originally signed up for the race, 13 teams vied for the coveted Turner Trophy. Four teams were stars of the day: Sheppard Realty, with their Viking attire; Berlin Electric with their Mario Brothers outfits; and Otten Delights, with their young and muscular pusher. But the unbeatable star of the show was the powerful Derek Jarmon, who pushed Aaron Goddard over the toilet paper finish line to victory as team Camp Coast.
Camp Coast started out strong in the first heat against the Globe and never stopped. They were undefeated against 410 Social, Otten Delights and Seaside Plumbing.
Ryan Nellans, the executive director of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce presented Camp Coast with the Turner Trophy, named after Jesse Turner, who founded the bathtub races.
Mr. Turner’s wife, Agnes and his son, Alfanzo Henry, joined Nellans in presenting the trophy.
“Mr. Jesse Turner was a constant source of encouragement, a real pillar of the community, he did things to help the community without celebrating himself,” said Nellans.
The Turner Trophy is a 2.5-feet-tall gold trophy with a blown glass rubber duck at the top, hand-crafted by local artist Jeff Auxer.
Jarmon, who is a program manager at Worcester County Rec and Parks, has been a pusher for Camp Coast for three years.
“I used to run track. I graduated from Stephen Decatur High School. I went back to my track training: resistance training, pushing a sled, elevation mask, you name it,” he said.
An elevation mask cuts down on the amount of oxygen that an athlete can bring in during strenuous activity. This helps preserve oxygen for that final push.
“Last year, I ran six races, three back-to-back,” said Jarmon. He wanted to be ready for that.
Jarmon said Camp Coast plans to take the trophy around the county to its different partners because it was such a team effort.
“Our parks department helped put the cart together. The administration here, which is housed in our government building in Snow Hill, has been a huge contributor and supporter, providing feedback on the car. And our HR department has always loved this event.”
Jarmon said he didn’t know if he will be back next year, but for now he is enjoying the ride.