Taped hands, rope burn and sand in places it's not meant to be.
The atmosphere is party-like and the participants are having fun at the annual Restaurant Olympics in Dewey Beach, but underneath the fluffy exterior is a desire by all to win.
“It's awesome,” and “Victory is sweet,” were the two short sentences an exhausted Dustin Davis had moments after his team, Devil Penetration from Northbeach, won the event Aug. 5.
“Tiring,” was all teammate Lindsay DiMuzio managed to get out.
Dewey Business Partnership hosted the olympics. There were 24 teams from 20 restaurants from across the Cape Region competing on the bayside beach at the end of Dickinson Street.
A team consisted of three guys and three girls competing in five events designed to test team agility and make them look foolish in front of the hundreds of people who gathered to watch. Events included carrying a tray with drinks, passing an inflated Jagermeister bottle back and forth without using their hands, an egg toss covering two 20-foot spans, a kayaking event, and the classic head-on-the-bat and spin before trying to walk event.
There were four heats of six team, and the champion was determined by a single-elimination tug of war tournament between the top two teams from each heat.
Music was provided by local disk jockey DJ Hector, the crowd was kept lively by MC Steve Capik. Partnership executive director Kelly Ranieri kept the whole event chugging along.
Andrew Fillman, representing defending champion Rusty Rudder, was pleased with his team's performance after the team competition. He's participated in the event for the past three years and was the anchor for the team's tug of war.
“It went well. We should do pretty good,” said Fillman, a big and burly guy, of the team's tug of war chances. The Rusty Rudder didn't win, but the team made it to the semifinals of the tug of war.
The participants aren't the ones taking the games seriously.
Steve “Monty” Montgomery, Starboard owner, said that if his crew won the event there would be an open bar for the rest of the night.
“It would be great,” he said from the steps of the Lighthouse as he watched, reminiscing about winning the event for the Starboard when he was an employee. He didn't have to pay up – the team was eliminated during the tug of war finals – but he was serious about it.
This is such a great event, Montgomery said. These kids have been working their butts off for two months, and now that it's August, the summer's coming to an end, he said, and this event is a way for everyone to come together to have some fun.
“This is Dewey. It's about the beach and the water,” he said.
In the end though, everyone knows the competition is about having fun.
Chip Hearn, former owner of Starboard and owner of Peppers and the Ice Cream Store in Rehoboth Beach, was there supporting his employees from the ice cream shop who were participating.
“This is cool,” he said. “Look how many kids are involved. They're just having a ball.”