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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Burley Oak takes home top prize

(July 21, 2016) After years of playing it safe, often sauntering across the finish line in what amounted to a rolling barrel of beer, local brewery Burley Oak finally took home the coveted rubber duck trophy during the 2016 Berlin Bathtub Races last Friday.
Berlin Mayor Gee Williams said the 2016 race was among the best in the more than two-decade history of the event.
“After all these years, I thought they were not only the most well attended, but also the best organized,” he said. “The effort that went into and the enjoyment all were the best I can remember.
“I was really impressed with the work that the chamber and all the participants did in making it really special,” Williams added. “It just seems to keep getting better and better as far as I can see.”
The Berlin Chamber of Commerce hosted the races and raised more than $600 in a 50/50 rubber duck raffle that was won by Michael John Schworn.
“I think this year’s Bathtub Races were extremely successful,” Chamber Administrative Assistant Morgan Coulson said. “We had no hiccups and everything lined up seamlessly – perfect weather, everyone was there on time and all the teams were really excited. And we had some new participants this year, which was great for getting more exposure for our chamber.”
Coulson said more than 1,000 people attended the event, many of whom coming from as far away as Pennsylvania.
“Our sponsors were really great, so we want to especially thank them for everything that they did, including Burley Oak, Church Mouse, Bathfitters, Uncle Jon’s Soaps and the Bayside Gazette,” she said.
In total, 15 tubs took part in the contest and Burley narrowly beat Berlin’s Water Resources Department, the defending champions, during the final heat.
Burley’s secret weapon this year was a second entry. Along with the traditional barrel cart, piloted by owner Bryan Brushmiller and brewer Justin Sherman, a second, more streamlined vessel proved to be the difference maker.
The winning craft was custom built by Loaded Gun Customs in Fenwick Island, Delaware and operated by Joie Polite and Kasey Jones. Sean Cooper and Ryan Showell controlled the runner-up Town of Berlin tub.
Brushmiller downplayed the victory.
“We are truly amazed we won, because we have been training for a shower race all month,” he said.