Southern Wörthersee — The show that we all mark our calendars and book hotels months in advance for. The show of all shows. If you’ve never been to SoWo you need to make the trip to the quaint town of Helen, GA in mid May. It’s something you’ve got to experience at least once. The only way I know to describe SoWo is imagine H2Oi but crammed into three or four square blocks in the mountains instead of the whole ocean strip. The cars are beautiful, the beers are cold, the food is delicious, the friends are great, and the parties? Well, the videos explain those; they’re nothing short of insane!
Finally that date circled on the calendar was here! Time to pack up and head for Helen. The Ohio majority of the Condukt crew all met in Cincinnati and prepared for our journey. The drive to Helen is nothing short of beautiful through southern Tennessee into northern Georgia. The trip went smoothly until Mr. McCue’s alternator decided to go out twenty miles from Helen. Lucky for him the local AutoZone had one in stock and the Wizard Ian had it on in no time. Back on course, we pushed through the winding mountain roads into Helen Wednesday evening. Getting into town a little early gives you time to settle in before chaos is unleashed on the little town of Helen.
This was my first year attending SoWo and needless to say I had high expectations after attending H2Oi last year, and hearing everyone’s love for that weekend to me. So last October I made my hotel reservations and began counting the days until we headed south. The group chat (mentioned in Vol. 2) between Nate, Chad, and myself kept the excitement really high and sleep rather low in the weeks leading up to SoWo.
With Thursday finally here I got to take the time to walk around, camera-in-hand, with Chadwick and Nikki. I admit that I am in no way, shape or form a photographer, but I do enjoy it and being able to remember the trips visually is nice. So seeing as I’m no photographer, it’s quite beneficial that I know a few really good ones. After breakfast we headed across town for a little car wash party with our friends over at Lowcally Famous and Nutswungnation. Let’s quickly get onto some photos instead of boring text…
Car’s clean, now it was time to park them and check out who was rolling into town that afternoon and catch up with all those friends we only see a few times a year. Those friends that you follow on IG and see their build progress all year, finally seeing the finished product at SoWo. For me all these shows aren’t about the scene points, partying, or even all the beautiful cars, but rather all the friends that I’ve made through this lifestyle that we all love. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the cars and libations just as much as everyone else and rarely will you see me without a beer in my hand at a show.
This was the first chance I’d gotten to meet Jason a.k.a. Jean Paul Jean Paul, he made a pitstop in Cincinnati on his way from Rochester to make the trip with us. Crazy thing is that he raised his A5 over an inch just to make the trip!
The weekend was full of great times with great friends!
I’d like to touch on the fact that we are extremely lucky to have such a great event such as Southern Wörthersee every year. We all take that for granted a bit and need to remember that Helen isn’t obligated to host us. Yes, we bring in a ton of revenue for the city and they want us there, but they don’t want things stolen or damaged by us while we’re there either. So guys and gals don’t be the one to take it too far and ruin what we’ve come to love for everyone. Just THINK please. I know that’s hard for some, but I’d like to attend SoWo for years to come and it wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t in Helen.
Now, back to pictures!
Friday morning brought on a very busy day for the Condukt crew. As the sun rose we were up and shooting with Brada Wheels, Seth (@kueckerdj09), and whatever else we could find that morning. Not to mention Friday afternoon we were hosting our first Meet & Greet (coverage coming soon) which turned out to be a huge success. I can’t help but thank everyone that came out and showed us some love. Friday was by far the highlight of my weekend and ended simply hanging out with some new friends around the cars; telling stories and knocking back beers. Thanks again to Ryan for leaving his car running all night so we could rotate in and out of the MkVI to warm up.
I even tried to get a little behind the scenes action of Chadwick shooting Seth’s 20th (ft here)
Seeing as I put down my camera sometime late Friday afternoon and didn’t touch it again it’s a good thing that Nikki is helping me with VOL. 3. She had been helping us with coverage and things for a while so bringing her “officially” on-board was long overdue. I don’t think she put down her camera all weekend!
Now that Southern Wörthersee has come and gone with most of the coverage and videos dropped, it’s time to start looking forward to H2Oi! I know we’re looking forward to it and making big plans as always.
In closing, I’d like to thank Matt Bounds, Chris Cooley, and the rest of the SoWo Partners for putting on yet another great show. Until next year, Cheers!
Words by Dave Dorsey (@dorseydave)
Photos by Dave Dorsey & Nikki Sturm (@gli_shorty)