Southern Worthersee – Goofball Rally 2008August 28, 2008
Edited by Josh Gilmore.
Matt Bounds from H2o Tuning and the staff at VwVortex asked me to write an article about my experience at Southern Worthersee 2008 for VwVortex.
Unfortunately, the staff at VwVortex decided that it was too late in the year for the article.
No big deal 🙂
Enjoy the read:
The show season for 2007 left quite a footprint in the history of the National Volkswagen Enthusiast Community. Holding such a successful event early in the year following such an array of memorable get-togethers, shows, and meets, means to set the bar high for those that will come after it. I can’t say any other event has opened a season better than H2o Tuning’s Southern Wörthersee, which even in making a 2007 freshman debut, was probably the best event I had ever attended, until this year…
If you’ve read anything about the Austrian VW/Audi festival, Wörthersee, you’ll clearly see why the stateside version is quickly living up to the Wörthersee name and reputation.
Goofball Rally & Helen
Waking up to rush replacing a 12V oil filter housing is a great way to get an all-day trip started across the state to pick up fellow Dubbers for a goofy, 54 car caravan with road cones, construction barrel slaloms, oil pan destruction, and bent wheels—the TNDubs.com’s ‘Goofball Rally’. The most awesome, scenic views and twisty roads one will ever drive leads down to a small, German-modeled town stashed away in the Blue Ridge Mountains just at the border of Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forrest – Helen, Ga.
Being only one hundred or so miles from Deal’s Gap, it was no surprise to find US-129 signs tucked in amongst the trees as we carved down the mountain and built a thirst for that first tasty beverage of the evening. The remote resort is worth the drive all on its own, but this beautiful May weekend offered tons more for those who attended. If the Bavarian styled, tower top architecture and cobblestone side streets weren’t enough, finding a Volkswagen or Audi at every glance with such scenery would leave even the most picky enthusiast settled for now, but coming back for more!
For those who hammered it out for weeks to finish their cars, the amazing scenery and incredible winding roads made those weeks of fitting wheels for that perfect stance, busting knuckles while replacing parts and sore arms from polishing paint seem all the more worthwhile. Not to mention cruising the Helen streets, awesome photo ops and pulling into the enthusiast-packed parking lot of the official event hotel – The Helendorf Inn as the Friday night pre-party heads into full swing. After hours of good times with friends, old and new, the lights burned out and everyone turned in a few hours of sleep before it was time to get up and clean the cars.
Saturday morning came quick and as we all filed into the show site, it didn’t take long for it to fill up. Who wouldn’t want to be packed into a lot with so many of our kind!? There were restaurants within walking distance, which meant no hassle of having to leave the event site for anything. Long time friends scattered about, new friendships being made every minute, dubs at every turn, and perfect weather—one could not ask for a better weekend. The atmosphere was more laid back than any event I’ve ever attended. I mean really, what other event will you get so many dubbers together, in the mountains?!
Yohannes nearly brought the event to a halt with his immaculate Corrado and its amazing new interior. Watching the build of this car and the changes he made left and right made it quite exciting to see in person. Jeff Bynum and family brought out the right-hand-drive harlequin, complete with color matched and supercharged VR6 and a ‘white-done-right’, shaved bay VR6 mk2 GTI with a custom set of Fittipaldi wheels. Seeing the Bynum’s work year after year, the quality and attention to detail never ceases to amaze me.
The sponsor list for Southern Wörthersee is a little long to list in an article, but it was great to see the guys from Black Forest Industries, Jef with Ross Tech, VW Fixx, Revo, BDA Felgen, Matt Ford and the guys from MFVW in Knoxville. I was also happy to see the Dubkorps and Raderwerks guys make their way down to kick it with us Southerners. The Bombing to Wörthersee Rally did quite well at drawing attention from further North. South Florida Dubs teamed up with DurtyDubs as they rolled through Atlanta. While walking around the show shooting video and taking pictures, I ran into Matthew Wright, who travelled the furthest distance, all the way from the United Kingdom!!! Matt says he has already booked his room at the Helendorf for 2009.
As the sun started to set, the crowd began to dissipate and the Helen streets began filling with the note of finely tuned German motors, we made our way to restaurants on the strip. Cars we watched online being built all winter long were cruising by as we enjoyed amazing meals with friends and fellow enthusiasts. The evening didn’t come to a close quite so easily, as we found ourselves checking out the mountain city bars, or back at the Helendorf Inn, where the parking lot filled up quickly with dubs and dubbers and stayed that way for hours into Sunday morning.
Like all good things, even Southern Wörthersee must come to a close.
Sunday morning came quick for most of us, we all shook off droopy eyes and got ready for the mountain cruise. Some went for the cruise, others decided to head back home, which was understandable since everyone had quite a drive to make it back home.
H2o Tuning has really outdone themselves with their continuously amazing hospitality and dedication to the community. So what makes Southern Wörthersee better than the rest? The club that works year ‘round to put it on, the town that makes you feel like you’ve made the pilgrimage to Vw’s homeland, the laidback atmosphere? I can tell you that it’s all these things and more, but you won’t know until you experience it for yourself! See you in 2009… 🙂