200 NASCRAB races and counting
In 1994, Greg Koeper saw his first crab race in Illinois at a place
called Dawn's that was owned by a guy named Dan. He made a mental
note to himself that if he ever owned his own pub or
tavern, he would host crab races there.
Koeper didn't realize how
popular crab racing, a.k.a. NASCRAB, would turn out to be. Koeper, along
with Kathy Houck and Kerry and Cathy Freesen, own Grego's
Almost to the Beach Tavern, which
opened in February 2001. They have hosted NASCRAB - National Association
of Safe Crab Racing in Bars - every Thursday since May of that year to
the delight of people from all walks of life.
Thursday, June 8, marked the 200th
race at the local watering hole at 4332 Palma Sola
Blvd. in Bradenton. Every "crab
jockey" received a gift for participating in the races, which took place
amid many balloons and streamers, creating a festive racing atmosphere.
the race, everyone in attendance enjoys a piece of
cake to commemorate the occasion.
There have been some changes or modifications
throughout the 200-race history. Initially, prospective
jockeys would sit and wait for the announcement to come and pick a crab.
It was at this moment that the really competitive jockeys stood out,
resulting in Koeper "tweaking" the
system by handing out numbered tickets to make the "draft" more orderly.
was another issue that had to be dealt with in order
to preserve the "dignity
of the sport." NASCRAB
quickly adopted harsh consequences for any jockeys whose flailing, pointing and
bobbing motions adversely affect the outcome of a race.
The first flailing offense - by
the driver, not the crab - results in him/her being banished to the flailing
carpet and donning the flailing cap. It is hoped that this humiliation will curtail
this "affront to fair competition."
Bradenton resident Jeff Marx
is a flailer. When asked why, he stated, "I can't control myself."
may be the Tony Stewart of NASCRAB, Ellen Benjamin
has to be the Richard Petty. Benjamin is the career leader in NASCRAB
wins with three, and she doesn't
appear to be slowing down with a win this past month.
In NASCRAB, jockeys "rent" a
crab for $1 and race in heats against four or five other crabs. The crabs start
out in the middle of a round table and race to the edge with the top two crabs
crossing the finish line advancing to the next round. The process is repeated
for round two with six or eight crabs emerging to race in the championship round
for the coveted NASCRAB T-shirt and assorted prizes.
Prizes are provided by longtime
sponsors River Forest Animal Hospital, Bob's Golf, Strands Hair Salon,
Blood Bank of Manatee and Americom.
If you haven't tried NASCRAB, get
on out to Grego's Almost to the Beach Tavern by 7 p.m. on Thursdays, but
remember, NO FLAILING!
Go skateboarding day set for June 21
day is set for June 21. Skaters and any other kids
for that matter are encouraged to go out on that day
and do whatever it is that they love to do. So get
on down to the Holmes Beach skateboard park and have
For more information, check out the Web
Debbie Rhodes threw a "six pack," or
double ringer, to close out her third consecutive trip to the winner's
circle at the weekly horseshoe competition at the Anna
Maria City Hall pits.
Rhodes teamed up with husband Tom to win the June 3
championship by a 22-12 score over the team of John
Johnson and Steve Doyle.
Johnson and Doyle jumped
out to an early 5-0 lead, but the Rhodes poured it
on to win in convincing fashion.
under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at
the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmups begin at 8:45
a.m., followed by random team selection.
There is no charge to play and everyone
Key Royale golf news
Meredith Slavin shot a one-under-31
to capture the Key Royale Club women's low-net
golf competition on June 6. Sue Hookem and Joyce Reith
tied for second in
Flight 1 with scores of even
Rose Slomba shot a 35 to win top honors
in Flight 2 by one shot over Markie Ksiazek, Jean Winegarden
and Pat Weingart.
ladies also had an "if only
game" where a player's gross score was improved by subtracting
their worst hole and their handicap. Joyce Reith and Meredith Slavin tied for
first with a score of 24, while Pat Weingart finished a shot back with a 25.
Bassett on No. 6 and Rosewitha Fowler on No. 4 each
had chip-ins on the day.
AMICC basketball camp news
The Anna Maria Island Community
Center's "Driven" summer
basketball camp is now accepting applications. Players ages 9-13 are encouraged
to sign up for the two-week camp that will focus on teaching techniques to
improve a player's offense, defense, independent thinking, sportsmanship,
ball handling and shooting.
Cost for the camp is $35. The camp will
be held from noon to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday, June 19-30,
except for the first day, which starts with orientation
at 11 a.m.
Registration deadline is June
For more information, contact the Center's
Andy Jonatzke at 778-1908.
Catch a game of adult pickup basketball
from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m on Wednesday evenings. The
cost to play in the "cool" (air-conditioned)
gym is only $2 per player.
Pickleball, the fastest growing sport
in the United States, is being played at the Anna Maria
Island Community Center
on 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Pickleball, a combination of tennis and badminton,
is played by two or four people using wooden paddle/racquets and a whiffle
ball. If you are over 21 years of age and interested in this exciting new game,
come on down to the Center. Cost is $2 and information about league signups
is expected at a later date.
For more information, contact the Center