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Great Race rolls through Rochester
A 1916 Hudson, dubbed “The Spirit of Fairport,” draws onlookers Saturday afternoon in Rochester. The antique car is driven by Howard Sharp and navigated by Douglas Sharp, both of Fairport, N.Y. (Mike Lawrence/Sunday News Correspondent)
After placing his lunch on the front seat of his bright yellow, 1916 Hudson Indy racer, the Southern California resident picked up a heavy clipboard and flipped through pages of directions that included only lengths of time, distances and the barest of road diagrams, which only occasionally gave street names.
Lunch in downtown Rochester was the first stop for this year's Great Race, which moved on to Lowell, Mass., Saturday evening and continues south until June 29.
Drivers and navigators had just an hour for lunch Saturday, according to race rules, meaning the antique cars rolled out of town not long after rolling in.
Many of the pages on Coad's clipboard were covered in red markings. Coad said he does calculations on the fly - readjusting speeds to meet the specified average if there's more or less traffic than expected, for example.
He said the day had gone well so far.
"The driver hasn't hit me yet and I haven't hit him yet, so we're OK," Coad joked.
Mike Provost, director of the volunteer Rochester Main Street organization, said preparations for the Great Race's stop in Rochester began only in April.
He said businesses and city officials responded strongly as organizers set up food, live music and more while getting permits and handling other logistics.