Ocean City Today

H2Oi leaves, but others caused it

Apr 26, 2018



printed 04/27/2018


Let’s be clear: it’s not Jay Shoup’s fault, nor is it the fault of his event, H2O International.

The blame goes to the vehicular insanity that took place outside the tight circle of the water-cooled German car roundup, and that alone is responsible for the declarations of joy that followed this week’s announcement of H2Oi’s relocation to Atlantic City this year.

H2Oi is not responsible for the motorized melee that occurred on Ocean City streets when the otherwise low-key rally was being held.

Shoup points that out in an online post that details the differences between the water-cooled VW/Audi crowd he invites and the unaffiliated rabble that also shows up.

It’s the same with all vehicle-related functions here: there’s the official gathering, and then there’s the uninvited horde, over whom the organizers have no control.

In that respect, it’s no different from what happens when a well-respected club, through no fault of its own, is declared the place to be by a growing mob of undesirable customers.

As one Ocean City restaurant owner  observed during a difficult summer not that long ago, “There are a lot of people here, they’re just not my people.”

Unfortunately for Shoup, there were his people and the other people. It is also his misfortune that H2Oi has become almost a generic term employed to mean any collection of small, low-slung, fat-tailpiped imported cars. It might not be accurate or fair, but it is convenient.

As for Shoup’s decision to take his rendezvous elsewhere, as well as Ocean City’s role in its departure, neither had a choice. To survive, H2Oi had to escape the ugliness that congregated around it, while Ocean City had to protect itself by making that same collection of undesirables feel increasingly unwelcome.

It may not be the best result, which would have been an eternally harmonious relationship between Shoup’s promotion and the resort, but it’s the only sensible course of action for both parties under the circumstances.

We wish Shoup well at his new venue, just as we congratulate Ocean City and state officials for taking the right steps to curtail lawless behavior. As for those who ruined things for everyone, you’re getting what you deserve.

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