High Seas Rally 2012: 10th Anniversary
By Lisa Dalgaard – Pics by Lisa and CD
View the High Seas Rally 2012 photo gallery here!
HSR Raises $330,000 towards the HOHS Dialysis Fund.
If you’ve been reading Quick Throttle for a few years, you’ve probably read our past coverage of one of the most unique biker rallies in the world.
10 years ago, Dean and Debbie Anderson started this amazing cruise to raise money for a great cause, the Hogs on the High Seas Kidney Dialysis Fund. They were tired of the same old biker rally so they created a vision to offer a new kind of bike rally while making a difference in the world. It then became a reality and just when we think they couldn’t top the year before, they added a fireworks show to celebrate their 10th Anniversary!
Is like no other. You’ll recognize some of your favorite events and games from bike rallies but this one’s on a warm caribbean vacation where you can rent a bike at any of the ports of call. We checked in with Kathryn Baker at Eaglerider Cozumel and they rented all their 22 bikes on the day we were there this year. They told us the best parts of the island are seen on a motorcycle. Area’s you can’t really get to in a car. www.cozumelmotorcyclerentals.com
So you may not have your bike but don’t feel guilty if you don’t miss it. Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas is one of the largest ships in their fleet housing over 3,000 vacationers on every cruise. This little city on the ocean has a main street promenade with shops, entertainment, a flow rider surf and body boarding simulator, an ice skating rink and even a rock climbing wall. There is no shortage of fun to be had on this ship so how can it get any better? How about bringing aboard 1800 Bikers – now you have a real party friends!
A great vacation should leave you wanting more. You should wish everyday was the first day and that your week could start all over again. This is the feeling you get on the High Seas Rally. The ships 2039 crew members plus the HSR staff headed up by Debbie and Dean Anderson and Roger and Beth Ann Aldhizer and their crews and families go above and beyond to make this the best experience possible. Starting with the check in, you receive commemorative leather passport wallets, patches, pins, personalized door plaques, champagne in your room and a schedule of the HSR events in addition to the ships normal activities. The week is loaded with non stop fun! Tattoo contests, Poker Walks, T-shirt exchange, Treasured Chest and Best Beard Contests. There is something for everyone. I’m sure the 800 HSR “virgins”(first-timers to the rally) were certainly overwhelmed with choices. The daily dress up is also unique. Pirate Night brings out the buccaneer in us all. 50’s, 60’s, 70’s night gives you three decades of costumes. In typical biker fashion, the formal night (when the rest of the ship is in tuxedos and gowns) brings out our best leathers.
This Western Caribbean cruise stopped at four beautiful ports of call 1) Labadee, Haiti, 2) Falmouth, Jamaica, 3) Georgetown, Grand Cayman, 4) Cozumel, Mexico. Next year will be even better when they go on their maiden voyage to the Eastern Caribbean. CoCoCay Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. Maarten are the ports of call and they’re already sold out. Stay tuned to see how you may still be able to get on though.
How do they raise all that money?
Free Vendor Prize Giveaways
Have you ever been to a motorcycle trade show at sea? This is set up like any other trade show but these vendors are carefully selected for their interesting products and generous prizes. Every vendor is required to donate at least $5K in prizes. Some of those vendors include Von Braun Exhaust owned by Charlie Giordano who makes very cool retro exhausts. www.VonBraunUSA.com
My other favorite was Sportsman Eyewear. They make incredible recordable sunglasses. We also like Condor Lifts, Kuryakyn, MotorMarc Art, Nightrider jewelry, Performance Machine, WindVest, Nolan Helmets , Medallion gauges and On the Fringe Leather. $142,000 is given away in Free Vendor Prizes.
The odds of winning on this cruise are really good so everyone plays.
$200,680 in COLD HARD CASH was given away this year. Winnings from games like Pirate Biker Bingo, Poker Walk, a nightly 50/50 and so many more. The 50/50’s are like no other. The largest 50/50 winner- Katherine Lord from Geneva, NY – this virgin won $11,065.00! The average was $8K a night.
All together, $405,718.00- In Total Cash and prizes was won by the attendees plus $115,000.00 in cabin credits. There were 46 Cabin Raffle winners this year!
The best odds of winning a cabin are with the BIKE SHOW which was Sponsored by Quick Throttle Magazine this year. There were 100 entries and one of those people won a cabin!
I know, you’re wondering how you have a bike show with no bike – you bring in photos of your baby and a description and we pick the winners. There are several categories and here were the winners:
Best of Show and Best Vintage #76 – Dean Sallenbach from Abbotsford, B.C Canada for his 1937 Harley ULH. This bike was purchased as a chopper in 1983 and he began restoring it in 1995. It took 12 years to find parts and assembly so he completed it in 2010.
Best Custom Winner #12 – Wayne & Patty Adams from Amarillo, TX for their 2005 Paughco Captain America 1951 Replica
Best FXR/Dyna/VRod #62 – Frank Clark from Longview, TX for his 2006 Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod
Trike Winner #8 – Dirk Merks from Orlando, FL for his 1995 Boom Trike
Sportster Winner #86 – Larra Koiner from Waynesboro, VA for her 2003 H-D 100th Anniversary Sportster
Metric Winner # 52 – Dan Huxoll from Irrigon, OR for his 1971 Honda Denvers Chopper
Other Category Winner #92 – Cindy Wallace from Brooklawn, NJ for her HOGS and HOT DOGS – 2003 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail. She actually sells dogs from this thing!
HONORABLE MENTION # 56 – This was also the Kids Pick. Judy Plexico from Philadelphia, PA for her 2004 Harley Davidson FXDL
The People’s Choice winner was #31.
We can’t forget the last minute entry of the 1963 FATBOY.
- Year/Model – 1963
- Ignition – Beans
- Engine Mods – Chromed Head
- Intake/Air Cleaner – Nose hairs
- Exhaust – Baffles have been removed
- Transmission – Starting to slip
- Primary Drive – His Wife and Kids
- Controls – Two left feet
- Handlebars – Can Lift up to 55
- pounds easy
- Lights – Non Smoker
- ETC – Stretched Fuel Tank
- 1963 FATBOY
- Suspension – Weak
- Wheels – Retread
- Brakes – Almost worn out
- Tires – Easily…
And that reminds me – the Belly Smacker competition is a crowd favorite for HSR attendees and the laypeople on board. We get to watch 10-12 people try to perfect their graceful belly flop. Brian (Catfish) Snyder from Stroudsburg, PA took the high honors this year.
There is, of course, a Tattoo Contest for the best High Seas Rally tattoo. The winner is usually the same guy, Dave Henry, who now has 80% of his body covered in HSR tattoos. He won again with his 26th tat.
There are many winners though. If you have a HSR tat, you still get $50 for each tat – $250 max.
Ladies, you won’t want to miss the Topless Man contest and gentlemen, the Treasured Chest Contest. We like to call HSR the Disney cruise for adults because it’s definitely rated AAARRR and the few kids that do come spend most of their time in the kids club.
The Treasure Chest Contest allows ladies to dress in their best pirate attire and collect money for the Dialysis Fund. This year’s winner was Virgi Bondi (a Marine) from Roseville CA.
All this is given away at a Nightly Show that is just for HSR participants. Comedian Roy Riley is our host and this guy is a riot! The word “Dumbass” won’t be the same for you after this trip.
Geoff Bodine was on board again this year raising money for the Kidney Dialysis Foundation. He auctioned off an autographed banner by all the NASCAR greats and threw in pit passes. That alone made about $10K.
There is also a nice cash prize for the club that brings the most members. The Largest Group this year was the Can-Americans. They had about 20 member and won a nice chunk of change. Like most of the groups winning $ during this last trip, they gave a large percentage back to Dean to help pay for Debbie’s medical expenses. Thousands of dollars were given back to the Anderson’s. The love for them was shown in so many ways on this trip.
WHY START A KIDNEY DIALYSIS FOUNDATION?
Dean’s family has a tragic history of hereditary kidney disease. Dean and Debbie know all too well the hardship and restrictions of travel for kidney dialysis patients which is why they knew this would be a success. In 2003, Dean and Debbie paid for a medical company to provide dialysis treatments for the following year’s cruise out of their pocket, confident the bikers onboard would embrace this worthwhile charity. Meeting the patients and socializing with their new dialysis patient friends on their vacation of a lifetime, they can actually see the results of their donations and where the money goes. Everyone is also educated on the impact of kidney failure and its effects. If not for HSR, 16 Kidney Dialysis patients who are sponsored to go on the cruise annually wouldn’t have the chance to travel out of the country and leave their trusted dialysis centers, doctor and nurses to risk the uncertainty that they won’t be able to get sufficient treatment out of the country. Debbie and Dean bring on board, doctors, nurses and all the dialysis equipment needed to self contain these people for a week.
Until 2013, not one dime of the money raised went to administration fees. Dean and Debbie did it all for free. Sadly, Debbie died while onboard the 10th Anniversary rally cruise of cancer complications, but she was doing what she loved to do. Debbie had chosen to celebrate life to the very end. This dialysis fund was her baby and we’re so grateful for her.
ARE YOU A KIDNEY DIALYSIS PATIENT?
How does one qualify for sponsorship on this amazing cruise?
All you have to do is apply but there are a few requirements.
- You’ll have to spend a week socializing with motorcycle riders so you better like them.
- You need a passport
- You must currently be a Hemo-Dialysis patient for at least 2 years but able to travel.
- You must be recommended by a current or past rally passengers or be a present or past motorcycle rider.
- If you are not, nor have you ever been a motorcycle enthusiast: You must have a friend or relative that currently is and they must provide proof.
If you meet the above qualifications, The HOHS Dialysis Fund will contact you after reviewing your application and you may just get to go on a trip of a lifetime!
Giving is just as rewarding as receiving for some.
Sure you can win a ton of great prizes and money on this cruise but some go just to give.
Maggie and Tim Murray from Dalby, Queensland Australia were in a bidding war for a collectable HSR banner. They paid $10,000 for another HSR banner but later told me they were planning on donating that amount regardless of the prize.
The piece de resistance were the motorcycle prizes.
Grand Prize Custom Bike Winner Sharon Immell from Amarillo, TX got to take home a completely custom Harley Davidson with parts and accessories donated by all the vendors on board.
The other grand prize was a Harley-Davidson Switchback and the winner was Joe Griffin from Dallas, NC.
On a personal note, we have so much respect for the Anderson’s. Debbie, Dean and Cody lived with the knowledge of Debbie’s death and still went on with the week not wanting to ruin people’s vacations. Debbie was in full agreement with this plan as well which says so much for her selfless character. They didn’t skip a beat even though they had a tragedy to deal with. They truly made 800 virgins never forget their first time, and the rest of us veterans remember the exiting 10th anniversary.
Registration for 2014 is scheduled to open April 1, 2013. We predict it will be even bigger than 2012 with an even quicker sell out than the 2012 rally cruise.
Even though they are sold out for 2013, keep an eye on their website because things do happen and there may be cancellations. Check www.HSR.com the first Monday of each month at 9am EST for a chance to experience this trip of a lifetime.
View the High Seas Rally 2012 photo gallery here!