CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- More than planes were flying Oct. 5-7 at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island as the 10th Annual Coronado Speed Festival shifted into gear as part of Fleet Week San Diego.
Along the 1.7-mile course, laid out on the runways and taxiways of NAS North Island, more than 225 of yesteryears' top world racing machines showed they still could move by competing in several different racing classes.
“The Coronado Speed Festival was hosted by Navy Region Southwest and Moral Welfare and Recreation (MWR) program,” said the Executive Director of the Fleet Week Foundation Tom Caughlan. “For the first time in event history, we were able to offer free tickets to active duty, active reserves and their dependants.”
According to Caughlan, the speed festival gives the military a chance to showcase their equipment and talk to civilians about what they do. It's also an opportunity for the San Diego business community and the community at large to show their appreciation and recognize what the military does.
“We hold the speed festival on [NAS North Island] for several reasons,” said Caughlan, former Marine Corps Air Station Miramar commanding officer. “For one, an event like this needs a large area to operate, also Navy Regent Southwest and the commanding officer of Naval Base Coronado decided this will be the Navy’s open house for San Diego. The two go together really well.”
Christi Edelbrock, of Edelbrock Co., raced a 1966 Shelby GT 350 at the speed festival on behalf of her families company.
“I have been involved in the speed festival since it’s beginning,” said Edelbrock. “It’s me and my family’s way to show support and appreciation for military members.”
The racing awards were given out during a ceremony aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). After refreshments were served and the awards ceremony was over, a tour of the Navy’s newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was given to attendees.
“This is the third year in a row we have been doing this even on board Ronald Reagan,” said Ronald Reagan's Commanding Officer, Capt. Terry Kraft during a speech given at the awards ceremony. “It was a fantastic weekend.”
The Coronado Speed Festival is only one in a series of events known as San Diego Fleet Week running from Sept. 17 to Oct. 27.
“This years Fleet Week consisted of a Padres game, Red Bull Air Racing, Port of San Diego Sea and Air Parade and Coronado Speed Festival,” said Caughlan. “Next weekend we will have the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Air Show followed by the football classic at San Diego State the next weekend.”
To learn more about San Diego Fleet Week events, visit www.fleetweeksandiego.org.
For more news from USS Ronald Reagan, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.