It’s hard to believe the Tickfaw 200 Poker Run hosted by Blood River Landing in Springfield, La., is only 15 days away. The closer we get to the one-of-a-kind event, the more and more I want to be there. Unfortunately I’ve already committed to attending the Desert Storm Poker Run in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
I wasn’t happy about the decision by the Desert Storm organizers that left both events on the same weekend, but I couldn’t pass up the trip to Lake Havasu. Mainly because Desert Storm more than rivals Tickfaw in terms of stories to cover and it is pretty much a “hometown” event for us West Coast folks. It helps that I know the coverage for Tickfaw is in good hands thanks to Shoot 2 Thrill Pix’s Pete Boden, who is also the chief photographer for speedonthewater.com.
Either way, I’m still disappointed I won’t be able to see the unveiling of the “new” Windship, Georgia performance boater John Woodruff’s 48-foot MTI. Woodruff sent me a sneak peek photo and told me the new interior was done, but not installed yet since some exterior work was still being completed. Not only is Woodruff one of my favorite people to talk to in the performance boat community, he’s also one of the most genuine and generous person I’ve ever met. In fact, Team Windship is one of the event’s sponsors this year.
Proving that MTI owners and Skater Powerboats owners can be friends, Woodruff’s buddy, Beau Renfroe, also plans to show off his updated Skater 368 Dirty Money at the two-day, 200-mile poker run, which is likely to host more than 300 boats again this year. I wouldn’t mind getting to see that in person.
I’d also like to get an up-close look at the updated Outerlimits 47 GTX XXX that is now owned by Cass Shewbart of Texas. I’m sure Shewbart and the team at Gulf Coast Complete Marine Service has taken great care of the classic offshore V-bottom.
And of course, because I have some insight on Missouri performance boater Travis Reed’s plans for the summer, I’m kicking myself for not getting the chance to see his unique 41-foot V-bottom that is powered by 588-cubic-inch supercharged engines from Brad Smith Power in Joplin, Mo. Reed said the boat’s engines have been modified with MS3Pro engine management systems that connect to new RacePak displays in the updated dash.
Reed, who also owns a 36-foot Skater and said that everything he does boating wise is in the late Brad Smith’s honor, is excited about the event, especially because he, Brian Smith, and Smith Power’s Aaron Grissom are coming with several friends. He said Grissom is going to run a 30-foot Eliminator with Smith Power and his friend, Dustin LaRue, is going to bring his Cigarette 38 Top Gun with 750-hp Smith Power engines.
“Last year I brought the Skater and everyone wanted to see White Lightning—they kept begging me to bring ‘the unicorn,’ that’s what they call it, so I’m bringing it this year,” said Reed, who has some exciting things in store for the Texas Outlaw Challenge in June. (He shared a not-for-public-photo with me and all I can say is that he’s not kidding.) “For me this is all about keeping Brad’s dream alive. We want to prove that Smith Power is alive and well.”
I’d also love to be there to see how some of the new Mystic Powerboats owners enjoyed their newly delivered 42-foot luxury performance center consoles. According to Scott Sjogren of Mystic Powerboat Sales, there are going to be several customers there with their new M4200s.
Former Powerboat editor Jason Johnson was an integral part of the magazine staff from 2005 through 2011, utilizing journalistic integrity and experience in and around performance boats to report on all aspects of the go-fast lifestyle. The award-winning writer resides in Southern California and is the executive editor and co-publisher of speedonthewater.com.