Before reading this I want you to understand that the events in Ocean City are no part of the actually H2Oi show. People just commonly refer to that week in Ocean City as H2Oi.
For those not involved in the car community, H2O International (H2Oi) is a car show hosted yearly right outside of Ocean City, MD that is most commonly known for the activities that occur in the beach vacation spot. The show is held Sunday but people begin to roll into town the week before to enjoy the coast.
H2Oi for many like myself is an event we look forward to every year. Once it is over the countdown for the next year begins. There is one issue I see with H2Oi that greatly bothers me though and it is the hype. For some like myself H2Oi is not a car show, it is more of a vacation. For some it is just a time to act reckless for the internet fame mixed with intoxication. Once Friday night comes around until Sunday morning the streets are lined with people yelling and encouraging drivers to drive recklessly. Drivers start to give in to the pressure as they are wrapped up in the nostalgic week and rev their cars, drive at high speeds, and spin tires. This causes accidents as well as many people being ticketed because the police department comes well prepared and staffed for the week.
Along with people being ticketed for reckless driving many are pulled over for what the law has deemed unsafe vehicles for the road. Excessive camber and suspension modifications will easily get you ticketed and impounded. Each year a not so lucky few are impounded. Once the tow truck rolls up crowds gather and the internet goes wild. Now I have never been able to understand the excitement behind this but what bothers me is the disrespect for authority that is shown while a car is being impounded. Crowd members yelling at cops, arguing the rules of the roads and yelling vulgar words. This happens every year. The laws in Maryland have never changed and they will not. Drivers know that and at their own risk bring their cars to show. Many of the owners just want the situation to run smoothly and get their car back but it can be difficult with a energy filled crowd intervening. Officers from Ocean City and surrounding counties take a lot of their time to keep people safe during the week and do not deserve the treatment they sometimes receive. They are simple following the rule book and us car enthusiasts cant be mad at them for that.
This year following H2Oi I saw something new. Car media publications were posting about H2Oi being the most ticketed car event in the states, if not the globe. This might be true but these outlets were praising it as if it was a trophy held high over our heads. I say it's sort of an embarrassment. It shows that every year we come out and try to test the law, we cant just come and behave. Then there are other very large outlets praising all these cars burning out and being ticketed for camber. To those who have never been to H2Oi I'm sure this looks like a total shit show. This event is something more than that. This is a time to enjoy friends, amazing cars, and a perfect place to cruise up and down the coast. Now it seems to be a place for people to get wasted, act reckless, and trash the place.
On the last week of September I travel across the state to Ocean City, some of my friends travel across the country, and thousands of others comes from all over the world to enjoy cars and good times in Ocean City, Maryland. For those like my friends and I we don't want such a great event to catch a bad reputation. Many locals already find us a nussence and continued negative behavior will not help calm relations with locals. This time is an opportunity to create memories with people you don't get to see often and show off the amazing cars you spend so much time working on. I am hoping many reads this and we can come out next year and have a great, safe time together. Cheers.
To view all my H2Oi photos click this link: https://flic.kr/s/aHskG3Gvk8