Hamptons Princesses Race to Victory

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The New York Sun

“All you need to make a film is a girl and a gun,”director Jean Luc Godard famously once said, and apparently, all you need for the Hamptons Princess Race is a girl, a car, and lots of athletic skill. At least 20 teams, each consisting of two women, will participate in this daylong competition, which is being held today at various locations, including the Bridgehampton Historical Society. The event is a benefit for the nonprofit organization Innocence in Danger, and sports activities run the gamut from surfing to skydiving to golf, and of course, car racing.

“Hopefully, they’ll be eating our dust!” participant Jennifer Mayer said; Ms. Mayer plans to drive a Volkswagen during the racing portion of the program.As host of “The Morning Show” on the Hamptons-based Plum TV, she and teammate Tracy Mitchell — also a general manager of the station — are some of the few participants with strong roots in the area. “We know the back roads,” Ms. Mayer says. “If there’s traffic on the Montauk highway, the Plum girls are going to know how to get around that.”

Challengers of that claim will include the stars of television’s “The Gastineau Girls,”Lisa and Brittny Gastineau; the owner of MarieBelle Chocolates, Maribel Lieberman; the owner of the Calypso fashion line, Christiane Celle, and the founder and international president of Innocence in Danger, Homayra Sellier.

Contestants will not be judged on the speed of task completion, but will accumulate points for participation and overall mastery. “I’ve never been skydiving before. I’ve always wanted to do it,” says Ms. Mayer, who hopes to avoid surfing. The most successful pairs will go home with Diane von Furstenberg wardrobes or gift bags from Clarins and Petrossian.

Regardless of who emerges as victor, the true winner will be Innocence in Danger, which provides services for sexually abused children. The organization raises funds to send kids and their guardians to a camp in Gstaad, Switzerland, where they undergo counseling, equestrian therapy, sports, dance, and arts and crafts.Innocence in Danger covers the entire cost, which runs around $3,500.

“We’re a small organization with virtually no overhead, so almost every single penny goes to the children,”says the U.S. director of Innocence in Danger, Rory Cutaia.Participants of the race are not required to donate any money to participate, but many — including Ms. Mayer and Ms. Mitchell — are choosing to do so.

That’s not to say that the competition won’t be fierce. “My strategy is going to be relying on my knowledge of the Hamptons, my daredevil attitude, and throwing all caution to the wind,” says Ms. Mayer. But with good sportmanship, she adds, “It’s not about winning— it’s about having a good time.”

The New York Sun

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