Sailors, Marines participate in competitions during Fleet Week

Fleet Week almost canceled due to sequestration

CORONADO, Calif. - For 12 teams made up of sailors and Marines assigned to different ships in San Diego, this year's Fleet Week included a NASCAR-style challenge.

After one week of training, they learned how to get a race car ready to go, as part of their one-of-a-kind competition.

Sailor Holly Waggoner told 10News, "I've always loved fast cars and racing, but this gives me a different aspect to racing because it's just as important."

But that challenge almost did not happen, as this year's Fleet Week was in jeopardy because of sequestration cuts.

The commanding officer of NAS North Island, Capt. Gary Mays, said they had to get permission from the Pentagon to make this happen.

"This is one of the only Fleet Week events in the country this year because of budget cuts. We were lucky and fortunate to get permission," he said.

A big part of that green light was because the San Diego Fleet Week Foundation stepped up and donated more than $400,000 to pay for the events like the Coronado Speed Festival.

Fleet Week activities are also a treat for the public, giving them a rare glimpse of the day-to-day operations of a Navy base.

Spectator Sue Roesh said, "I'm for the military – since it's here, I thought it would be great. My husband was former military."

Aside from the racing events, there are also tours of ships and spectators can take a look at military aircraft.

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