Of all the weeks in July, this week—the one that includes our Independence Day celebration tomorrow—is the quietest in terms of organized performance boating events. Beyond planned and spontaneous casual gatherings on the water, which often turn out to be the most memorable happenings of any given boating season, there’s not much on the organized-event docket between now and Sunday.
But after that? July gets real—as in really busy.
Let’s start with a big gun, the Boyne Thunder Poker Run July 13-14 in Northern Michigan. With its dates pushed back a week to avoid a July 4 overlap—Boyne City is busy enough during the Independence Day week—the long-sold-out event is sure to be another hit. For a closer look at Boyne Thunder, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, check out tomorrow’s offshoreonly.com column by Jason Johnson.
While there’s nothing on the Super Boat International offshore racing schedule this month, Race World Offshore will produce its first event July 20-22 in Mentor, Ohio, the same weekend—by design—that Elite Poker Runs will host its second-year Mentor Poker Run. Since the birth of RWO in late 2017, it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster ride for the fledgling organization, and most offshore racing fans are eager to see the fruits of its labor.
As for the Mentor Poker Run, organizer Anthony Scioli is hoping that Lake Erie will cooperate at least as well as it did for his Erie Poker Run last month. Sometimes, patience and persistence pay off.
As it happens, the July 20-22 weekend is the busiest weekend of the month. In addition to the aforementioned events that weekend, the second-year 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run in New York is set for July 20-21, as is the fourth annual Big Boat Bash Fun Run in Arkansas. The Big Boat Bash organizers are expecting a record turnout this year. As for the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run organizers, with 122 boats registered and a waiting list to enter, they already have it.
On the same weekend, the folks behind the West Michigan Offshore performance-boat club are expecting to have their Rock The Coast event based out of Grand Haven to set a new attendance record. Based on the trajectory of the popular club and it savvy leadership, that seems likely, if not downright certain.
As it happens, Johnson and photographer Pete Boden will be on scene to cover the Boyne Thunder Poker Run. The following weekend, I’m off to cover the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run, which will be captured by photographer Tim Sharkey. But even if we could clone ourselves and our travel budgets, we couldn’t cover—at least on scene—all the great events happening this month.
Did I miss anything? I’m sure I did. Close readers that you are, I’m sure you’ll let me know. But bring on July. I’m ready. And I know you are, too.
Matt Trulio is an award-winning journalist who has covered the high-performance powerboat world since 1995. He wrote for Powerboat magazine for 17 years and was the magazine’s editor at large until it ceased publication in 2011. Trulio is the founder, editor-in-chief and publisher of speedonthewater.com, a daily news site that covers the high-performance powerboat realm. He’s also the former editor of Sportboat magazine.