Category Archives: CONTEST

Enter Our Contest! Win free tickets to Holiday Jazz Concert


Tell us why you enjoy Jazz!

Five lucky winners announced in the County Compass Dec. 8 issue!


Festival mascot needs a name!

NEWS1-Festival-Mascot-graphicBRIDGETON – The happy character is popping up everywhere, as a way of promoting the return of the Annual Blueberry Festival, scheduled this year for Saturday, June 25, along the banks of the Neuse River at Bridgeton Marina. Alas, the cherubic mascot has no name – until now! E-mail your suggestion to: One lucky winner will receive a $50 gift certificate, which can be redeemed at a Walmart in New Bern. Limit one entry per household, and all entries must be received by Friday, June 17. Please enter our contest, and be sure to attend the Festival!

Insanity helps in demanding ‘Challenge’ races

Two local men set to compete in Florida


By Carla Byrnes
Alan Stewart of Vandemere-based B & B Yacht Designs designed and constructed this vessel, which he calls an “Expedition Sailing Canoe.”  It’s first test comes in an ‘adventure race,’ which begins this weekend in Florida.

Alan Stewart of Vandemere-based B & B Yacht Designs designed and constructed this vessel, which he calls an “Expedition Sailing Canoe.” It’s first test comes in an ‘adventure race,’ which begins this weekend in Florida.

EVERGLADES, FLORIDA — It is the first Saturday in March. The sun is rising over the beach in Fort DeSoto. Stretched along the beach, as far as the eye can see, are about 100 watercraft: canoes, kayaks, and small sailing craft of all types. When the gun goes off, the air is filled with the sound of shouting, grunting, hoots of encouragement and good wishes as the competitors push, pull, shove and haul their boats into the water.

That will be the scene this year on March 5 for the launch of the Watertribe Everglades Challenge!

Among the pushing, shoving, dragging crews are two of Pamlico County’s own. Graham Byrnes (also known as ‘ROO’ – denoting his Australian heritage) and Alan Stewart (also known as ‘SOS’). The two are partners in B&B Yacht Designs, based in Vandemere. Byrnes and Stewart have both competed in previous years’ Everglade Challenges and both have multiple wins in various classes of the annual competition.

The Everglades Challenge Race and its continuation companion race, The Ultimate Florida Challenge, are ‘adventure races.’ The term “Challenge” is no hyperbole. The Everglades Challenge is a 300-mile-long race, which begins on the west coast of Florida and continues around to end at Key Largo on the east coast. The Ultimate Florida Challenge then continues up the coast with a 40-mile portage across the isthmus for a total race of about 1200 miles!

As if the distances were not daunting enough, the race has many “filters,” which allow disparate craft to compete. The boats must be able to be launched from the beach by their crew, with no outside help. There are three required check-in points between the start and the finish, with bridges, narrow winding channels and strong tidal stream obstructions. There are inner passages that favor the paddle craft and open waters, which allow the sail boats to stretch their legs at full speed.

Everything you need must leave with you at the start, and you can’t add or subtract from that load. Hence, the boats doing the Ultimate Florida Challenge are also required to have appropriate gear — for pulling or pushing the boats across 40 miles of land.

Byrnes and Stewart are boat designers, and both built innovative new prototypes for this year’s race. Byrnes will be racing a Core Sound 17Mk3, and Stewart an Expedition Sailing Canoe.

So he can ‘single hand’ in Class 4, Byrnes invented ‘wind vane self-steering’ as an addition to the standard design, along with a bowsprit to assist in deploying a spinnaker!

Not to be outdone, Stewart will be carrying his folding bicycle, which he modified to save weight and reduce the size for portaging in his sailing canoe.

Needless to say, both designers are well known for thinking and engineering ‘outside the box’ and their boats this year are no exception. Visit the B&B Yacht Designs website where you can find information on the home page with links to related sites and even the video podcast of previous Everglades Challenge races.

It is rare for the general public to be able to follow an off shore distance sailboat race, but this is the exception. Each boat carries a “Spot,” which records their position on the race map every 1-2 hours showing the location of each boat on the map, so you can follow your favorites or watch the whole fleet. Watertribe member-race participants have a tribal name (as in Graham and Alan’s case, Roo and SOS). Go to EventsEC2016 to follow the race. There will be action around the clock, so you can check in anytime and see someone on the move. Obviously, solo and paddleboats will have to stop and rest, but many of the Class 4 & Class 5 boats can run on a 24-hour schedule.
The race is run under the watchful eye of founder Steve Isaac, better known as “Chief.”

B&B Yacht Design boats are found all over the world. The Watertribe and similar races provide an unparalleled laboratory for testing designs, materials and hardware in real life use, under often extreme conditions.

B&B only sells and markets designs that they have tested and used themselves. As you follow the race, you will note there is a large attrition rate. This is not just about winning, it is about finishing! It takes heart, guts, grit, and yes – probably just a little bit of insanity! GOOD LUCK and a safe trip to Graham and Alan.

Hey Readers! Be sure to enter the ‘Name That Swan’ contest. It will be a blast!


Scale model of Cutty Sark, a British Clipper Ship built in 1869

Scale model of Cutty Sark, a British Clipper Ship built in 1869

DOWN EAST N.C. – Smyrna Junction Old Time Store, in a section of Carteret County affectionately known as Down East North Carolina, is an eclectic place run by the Dabkowski family. The magnificent hand-carved swan – seen above with Brian Dabkowski – has been a member of the clan since 1983, when he was purchased from master artist Charles Reber of Nags Head. Over the past 30-plus years, the remarkable relic has remained unnamed – until now! E-mail your suggested name to: Brian and his parents, Stan and Catherine, will review every entry. In early April, we’ll announce the winner. The prize is a scale model of Cutty Sark, a British Clipper Ship built in 1869, which later became the trademark for a blended Scotch whiskey produced by Edrington pic of Glasgow. The County Compass will also kick in $50 for a shopping spree at Smyrna Junction. Please! Only one e-mail per household, and keep in mind that entries must be received by April 1st.

Win a pair of tickets for Tryon Palace WinterFeast


NEW BERN – In just a few short years, WinterFeast – a big oyster roast to raise funds for Tryon Palace – has quickly become the area’s premier wintertime social event. Many thanks to the organizers who have earmarked a pair of tickets for a lucky County Compass reader! Send an e-mail with your name and phone number to: Please! Just one e-mail entry per household! Deadline for entries is Monday, Jan. 18. One e-mail will be pulled at random from all those received, with the winner announced in the Jan. 21 issue of The County Compass! Good luck!

Ms. Senior America crowned in Atlantic City, N.J.

By Flora Moorman | Ms. North Carolina Senior America

NEWS1-Ms.-Senior-America-picATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The Ms. Senior America Pageant is an exciting combination of talent and inner beauty along with individual fulfillment and elegance. This “beauty pageant” it is what Senior America is all about … “a re-affirmation of life and self worth, of laughter and tears, of inner beauty and outward charm.”

It is a time when women 60 years of age and older have an opportunity to display their inner beauty, talents, and elegance. As a result, the Pageant – now in its 33rd year, highlights the achievements of senior women. The annual event, held in different venues throughout the nation,  inspires, motivates and encourages women to utilize their full potential and share a their positive outlook on life with others. Participants represent a cross section of America.

There were 42 amazing contestants with diverse talents, and an “age of elegance” beauty all rolled into one. The judges certainly had their task cut out for them but. Talents that ranged from opera singer, to stand-up comedian who just had her hip replaced six months before, to accomplished pianists, singers, Flamenco and tap dancers, even a ventriloquist. WOW!

However, only one could be chosen as Ms. Senior America for 2014. The distinct honor went to Ms. Virginia, Patsy Godley.

The lady is amazing, and adored by her fellow contestants! In my book, Patsy embodies the purpose and goals of the pageant, adding her own unique blend of humility, kindness, and community spirit — not to mention her amazing singing talent!

I am so honored to have participated in what I have termed a “Pageant of Life” as Ms. North Carolina Senior America 2014. I look forward to continuing my reign until June 2014 when a new Ms. North Carolina Senior American will be crowned in Pinehurst.

The Ms. Senior America Pageant is a national, not-for-profit organization that depends on sponsors and volunteers, which include individuals, government agencies, private business, social and service organizations, clubs, and civic groups.

If you are interested in participating in the 2015 Ms. North Carolina Senior Pageant. please contact Ms. Beverly Wetherbie at or call 910-603-5514.

Sunfish Sailboat World Championships headed to area

Camp Sea Gull, Camp Seafarer to host both youth and adult competitions

A young sailor practices in a Sunfish off the Neuse River shoreline of Camp Sea Gull.

A young sailor practices in a Sunfish off the Neuse River shoreline of Camp Sea Gull.

By Brandon Blackman | Special to the County Compass

ARAPAHOE – The world’s top sailors will compete in the Neuse River, off the shoreline of Camp Sea Gull, October 8 through 18 as part of the 2014 Sunfish World and Youth World Championships.

The two events combined will welcome approximately 120 sailors from all over the world, along with their families, coaches, support crew and volunteers. Competitors in the World Championship earned berths through their home country’s qualifying regattas. The Youth World Championship is open to qualified sailors under the age of 19.

“We’re excited to host this premier event at Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer,” said John Hyde, Executive Director of Camp Sea Gull. “Our five-mile stretch of open water on the Neuse River, along with our facilities and team of dedicated volunteers makes this the perfect venue for a world class event.”

Founded in 1948 and 1961, respectively, Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer have a long history of teaching sailing and seamanship skills to young people. The Sunfish is the world’s most popular recreational sailboat, and a favorite vessel for Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer because of its appeal to sailors of all ages and skills.

NEWS1-Top-right-corner-front-pageThe Sunfish was designed in 1951, and the Sunfish World Championship has been a prestigious competition since 1970. Today, the International Sunfish Class sanctions more than 1,000 events each year.

Nationally certified race officer, Hal Smith of Easley, S.C. will serve as the Principle Race Officer for the event. Smith led a well-organized race management team during the 2012 USODA Southeast Opti Championship hosted by Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer. More than 120 youth sailors ages 7-15 competed in the event.

Warren Nethercote will serve as Head Judge. Nethercote is an International Judge from Nova Scotia, Canada who has judged three previous Sunfish World Championships.

Ann and John Crehore will serve as co-chairs of land logistics and volunteer management for the event. The Crehore’s served in this role at the 2012 Southeast Opti Championship.

The Youth World Championship is open to sailors willing to submit a resume for consideration. Resumes will be reviewed by a Sunfish Class Representative and must show evidence of participation in Sunfish or dinghy sailing in the two years prior to the event. Those interested in applying for the Youth World Championship should visit for details.

In an intriguing new wrinkle to this year’s Sunfish Championships, Paul Welles of Oriental-based Triton Yachts confirmed this week that a division of his company will furnish regatta organizers with 72 identical Sunfish sailboats. And, as competitors drop their sails upon conclusion of the championships, the boats will then be sold in rapid-fire fashion to Triton customers who are already placing orders at

For more information, call Welles at (252) 249-2001.

‘Shark Tank’ casting call heads to Greenville

Special to the County Compass

SharkTank_500wGREENVILLE, N.C. — ‘Shark Tank,’ the popular TV show, which introduces aspiring entrepreneurs to rich, successful business people, will hold casting calls in Greenville on July 24 as the Emmy-nominated production enters its sixth season.

According to U.S. Cellular, one of the show’s sponsors, the day-long session has been scheduled for The Martinsborough, located at 330 S. Evans Street. Aspiring businesspersons can begin arriving at 9 a.m. to receive a wristband, with interviews beginning at 10 a.m. The first 500 entrepreneurs who show up at the open call are guaranteed to be seen and will pitch the “Shark Tank” casting team with their products, services or ideas.

“At U.S. Cellular, we champion small business owners and offer them access to tools to help them be successful,” said Dana Dorcas, director of business sales for U.S. Cellular in North Carolina. “By working with ABC’s Shark Tank, we are providing an unprecedented opportunity for people in our local communities to pitch their ideas to experts and have the chance to grow their business.”

Clay Newbill, executive producer of Shark Tank, said his crew is looking forward to the visit.

“We know great ideas come from everywhere, so we’re excited to hit the road this summer with U.S. Cellular to hear from entrepreneurs,” said Newbill.

U.S. Cellular is also bringing Shark Tank casting calls to two other cities, Des Moines, Iowa and Milwaukee, Wis. For further casting call information and to fill out an application, please visit the website

In September, consumers and business owners will also be able to enter a U.S. Cellular “Shark Tank” sweepstakes. More details will be available in the coming months.

Applicants selected to appear on the hit show will have the opportunity to seek investment funds from The Sharks — tough, self-made, multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons who may choose to invest their own money in the best businesses and products that America has to offer, giving budding entrepreneurs the chance to make the American dream come true, and the potential to secure business deals that could make them millionaires in their own right.

The Sharks are: billionaire Mark Cuban, owner and chairman of AXS TV and outspoken owner of the 2011 NBA championship Dallas Mavericks; real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran; “Queen of QVC” Lori Greiner; technology innovator Robert Herjavec; fashion and branding expert Daymond John; and venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary.

The entrepreneurs who dare to enter the Tank must try to convince the Sharks to part with their own hard-earned cash and give them the funding they desperately need to turn their dreams into million dollar realities. But the Sharks have a goal, too – to get a return on their investment and own a piece of the next big business idea. When the Sharks hear an idea worth sinking their teeth into, they’re more than ready to declare war and fight each other for a piece of it.

During the 2013-14 season, ABC’s Shark Tank consistently won Friday among Adults 18-49, ranking as the night’s No. 1 TV series on 26 of 28 original telecasts. In addition, the hit unscripted show dominated its 9 o’clock time period among young adults, qualifying as ABC’s highest-rated program in the hour in nine years – since the 2004-05 season.

In its fifth season, Shark Tank surged by double digits from the previous year, with Total Viewers up 16 percent, and Adults, ages 18-49 up 14 percent, marking the series’ best-ever season on both Nielsen measures.

Wanna own a fire truck? How about a Visa card worth $1,000?


VANDEMERE – Firefighters in this community’s volunteer fire department – intent on boosting awareness and increasing membership – have launched two unique raffles, with a pair of lucky winners to be announced at the department’s Second Annual Open House, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 2. In a brief interview, event organizer Dave DeSalvo pledged that whomever wins the 1974 Ford C750 Fire Truck “will be able to drive the truck out of our parking lot, and the pump on it works great too!” Proceeds from the two raffles have been earmarked for the purchase of Personal Protection Equipment – helmets, boots, jackets, gloves, and other regalia designed specifically for firefighter safety. To purchase raffle tickets, call DeSalvo at (215) 872-8736, or contact any member of the Vandemere Volunteer Fire Department.

CONTEST: Win tickets to big Oyster Roast


NEW BERN – These two tickets to the hugely popular WINTERFEAST oyster roast, which is an annual fundraiser for the nonprofit Tryon Palace Foundation, could be yours! Sometime before 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27, send an e-mail to: Please! Only one e-mail per household! One lucky winner, selected at random from every e-mailed entry, will be notified next week. Give it a try. We guarantee your odds of winning are better than the state-run lottery!