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HomeNewsArchivesFirst Territory-Wide Bartender Olympics A Huge Success

First Territory-Wide Bartender Olympics A Huge Success

June 24, 2007 – A couple of hundred party animals were in the blazing sun on Protestant Cay Beach in Christiansted harbor trying their best to raise funds for homeless animals. The V. I. Bartender Olympics started a little after noon and continued through 5 p.m. at Hotel on the Cay as a benefit for the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center.
This year was billed as the first"annual" territorial Bartender's Olympics as plans are to make it an annual competition. For the past three years the Olympics has been an exclusively St. Croix event.
Competing from St. Thomas was Rick Holmberg, a bartender at Molly Molones. Holmberg said, "This is lot of fun participating and being here on St. Croix."
A record nine bars participated this year. The competition among bartenders and servers from Shenigans, Fort Christian Brew Pub, Moonraker, Sharkey's Bait Stand, Bacchus and Chicken Charlie's Roadhouse usually focused on the humorous instead of the strenuous with the competitors having as much fun as the observers. The bartenders competed in such events as the fastest and most creative ways to open beers and the best specialty drink.
The competion began with the Bloody Mary contest. Judges were Omer ErSelcuk, David Ziemer, and Tony Gatti all representing Crucian Sauces, the parent company for Miss Anna's hot sauce which had to be used in the drink. The bartenders were judged on their presentation and the taste. Points could be gained by using extras like Miss Anna's Shake on the rim of the glass. Points could be taken away for spillage or leaving out ingredients.
Gatti, general manager at Crucian Sauces said, "Moonraker added jumbo shrimp, which was a nice surprising touch. Brew Pub garnished the drink with bleu cheese and jalapeno stuffed-olives– that was over the top. I gave extra points for those two."
Moonraker came in first place with 55 points for their Bloody Mary.
Abel Barrera, a bartender at Sharkey's, handled his bottle opener with fine-tuned precision and speed, throwing in some quick moves in the Pop Top competition. Joann Graci, J.R. Greer and Joe Hazi judged the bottle openers. Six volunteers judged-beer drinking relay races, obstacle course races and bartender/server competition.
Sponsor Cruzan Rum brought in from Miami the "Flair Bartender Champion" Rodrigo Delpelch. He was a crowd pleaser, starting with two bottles of Rum Cream, then adding two more and balancing one on his head at the same time. Bill Leppelmeir said, "They make juggling look so easy."
Organizers for the Olympics were volunteers Terry Wunschel and Darcy Mahurt. Wunschel said, "We have had the best turnout this year and we have had great help from more than 20 volunteers."
Cash, prizes, and titles of "Best Bartender" and "Best Server" were awarded.
The competition was not the only attraction as volunteers had set up tables where t-shirts, raffle tickets, beverages and other items were sold to benefit the shelter.
Many residents seemed content to pay the $30 entrance fee just to enjoy the beach and the barbecue. Included in the ticket price was a chicken and fish barbeque with macaroni, potato and green salads. All of the entrance fee will benefit the shelter. Local radio personality, Rashidi Clenence, was the event announcer.
Cane Bay Dive Shop, SCUBA, ib designs, Coconut Vine and Jan Mitchell Studio donated raffle prizes. Sponsors for the Olympics were Sonya ltd., Paradise 93.5, Miss Anna's Hot Sauce, Seaborne Airlines, Grass Hut Design, and Cruzan Rum.
The mission of the St.Croix Animal Welfare Center is: "To provide and promote the humane treatment of animals through public education, animal protection, and community services."
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