Where did the summer go? August begins tomorrow. And while there are great go-fast boating event opportunities in various of parts of the country in September and October, the traditional boating season winds down at the end of the month and organized events begin to dry up.
There are exceptions, of course, such as the Lake Cumberland Poker Run Sept. 7-9, the Lake Powell Challenge—an event that’s drawn raves from participants in the past few years—Sept. 13-16 in Arizona and the Monster Storm Poker Run Oct. 11-14, also in Arizona. And, of course, there’s the Florida Powerboat Club’s annual massive Key West Poker Run Nov 6-12.
But’s those are four events stretched over three months, whereas in August there’s a least one happening per weekend.
You may already have mapped out your August event plans. You may still be thinking them through. Either way, here’s a quick look at what’s on tap.
•LEOPA Thunderfest, Aug. 4—Performance boats areas surrounding the Lake Erie Basin and beyond flock to this annual event on Ohio’s famed Put-In-Bay.
•Florida Powerboat Club Emerald Coast Poker Run, Aug. 15-19—After an acrimonious split with local organizers in the Destin, Fla., area, FPC president Stu Jones will be looking to make splash at his club’s first independent effort in the area in years.
•The Ray Nuchereno Memorial Poker Run, Aug. 10-12—Formerly the Buffalo Poker Run and organized by Elite Poker Runs, LLC for the second year in a row, this family friendly run was renamed last year to celebrate a beloved member of the Western New York performance-boating community. And all-in-one host venues don’t get any better than the event’s Templeton Landing.
•The Big Cat Poker Run, Aug. 17-18—Between Friday’s lunch run and Saturday’s main event, there’s simply no better way for performance-boat enthusiasts to tour Northern California’s Sacramento River Delta.
•The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, Aug. 22-25—From the Shootout On The Dam street festival to two days of top-speed runs on the liquid three-quarters-of-a-mile course, the Central Missouri event celebrates its 30th anniversary this month—and will see Offshoreonly.com columnist/speeonthewater.com co-publisher Jason Johnson inducted into the Shootout Hall of Fame. If you haven’t been, you need to go—with or without a boat.
•Super Cat Fest, Aug. 23-25—A self-contained boat show for those who crave the best of the best in high-performance catamarans, with a few killer V-bottom sportboats and center consoles in the mix at the docks of the Camden On The Lake Resort docks, this event is not to be missed. Plus, speedonthewater.com with be holding its first Sport Catamaran/Mercury Racing Verado 400R roundup at the resort on Thursday. If you’re in town for the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, a trip to Super Cat Fest to check out the outrageous hardware is a no-brainer.
•West Michigan Offshore August Fun Run, Aug. 25-26—With nasty weather and rough water taking some of the fun out of WMO’s signature Rock The Coast happening in July, the organizers are looking to finish their three-event season strong the only overnight event, which runs from Grand Haven to South Haven, with a stop in Holland for lunch.
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.