Their time at sea took a turn from jolly to ominous.
This year marked the third year the Claremore Collective crew created and manned a raft for the Tulsa Raft Race hosted by the Tulsa Young Professionals over Labor Day weekend.
“This year we named the raft ‘Mother’s Worry’ and there’s some Claremore heritage behind that. Back in the 1960s the Oklahoma Military Academy, the predecessor institution to Rogers State University, their spirit crew used to ride around from game to game in an old 1940s hearse and on it was painted ‘Mother’s Worry,’” said Claremore Collective’s Brandon Irby. “So, last year our theme was the Jolly Rogers. It was kind of an upbeat pirate ship with the homage to Will Rogers, who was decked out as a pirate on our logo.”
This year, he said, the tides turned and their pirate theme was a little darker.
Irby said this year was another great race.
“It’s an opportunity to represent our community on a little bit bigger stage,” he said, adding that he personally appreciates the opportunity to work with his fellow Collective members in a new way.
“And nothing says bonding like sticking 10 people on a raft for four to five hours, after weeks of working together,” Irby laughed. “It allows you to get out of your routine and work shoulder to shoulder with other young professionals It’s a chance to collaborate, build relationships and gain friends throughout the community.”
Brian O’Dell, of BlueArc Metal Specialties, said he was happy to have a group of do-ers on board.
“We had thinkers, too, but it’s always nice to be surrounded by people who aren’t afraid to jump in and get things done,” O’Dell said.
He said they were able to build on their sturdy raft foundation from last year and make a few upgrades—which included water canon and balloon launcher manned by a skeleton crew member.
He said none of it would have been possible without HydroHoist, Rye Design LLC, Adventure Signs, Copper Ridge Chimney and all of the individual Collective crew members who worked countless hours in the weeks leading up to the race.
Collective board member, Jake Krumwiede, said, “Each year, thanks to the generous contribution from HydroHoist, young professionals from the Claremore area build a raft that uniquely represents Claremore to the greater Tulsa area. This year, we dubbed our craft the "Mother's Worry," named after the old spirit car from Oklahoma Military Academy. The raft we build each year is a team effort from various Claremore manufacturers and businesses.”
He added, “Young professionals that make up Claremore Collective work and volunteer tirelessly in the community on a daily basis. Every now and then, it's nice to come together and not only enjoy each others' hard work, but their good company as well."