Look West In September

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Organized go-fast boating events get scarce in September. The reasons are simple: Kids go back to school. College football gets real. Major League Baseball finally gets interesting. Late afternoons and evenings begin to get chilly. Among even the most fanatical performance-boat enthusiasts, September is a month distractions off the water.

There are exceptions, of course, and two of the most noteworthy events are out West on Colorado River-fed waterways.

The scale of Lake Powell and its stunning scenery make the Lake Powell Challenge September’s most popular event. Photo by Tom Leigh/Tommy Gun Images.

Set this year for September 12-14, the Lake Powell Challenge consistently lives up to its “greatest boating event at the greatest venue” tagline and has become the September’s most popular go-fast boating event. The event attracts participants from around the country to its Antelope Point Marina home-base in Paige, Ariz., and it’s fair to say that no event in the country boasts more spectacular scenery. Towering cliffs above much of the vast waterway provide a breathtaking backdrop for the boats involved—and make them look tiny.

Almost all of the Lake Powell Challenge participants stay on houseboats at Antelope Point Marina. Though the houseboat village is less raucous and more family friendly than those at a couple of other notable go-fast boating events, it is decidedly casual and welcoming.

Offshoreonly.com columnist and speedonthewater.com co-publisher Jason Johnson will return for the second year in a row to cover the event. Heading to Lake Powell for the first time, Speedonthewater.com chief photographer Pete Boden will join Johnson and is eager to capture images of exotic boats on the water framed by a spectacular desert landscape.

A bit more exclusive but equally impressive—at least when it comes to custom-built high-performance catamarans—the 22nd annual DCB Performance Boats Regatta on Lake Havasu is set for September 20-21. For the second year in a row, the London Bridge Resort in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., is the host venue.

The DCB faithful will take over the London Bridge Resort in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., for the company’s annual owners regatta this month. Photo by Todd Taylor/Todd Taylor Images.

If you happened to catch DCB display at last month’s Super Cat Fest event at the Camden On The Lake Resort in Lake Ozark, Mo., you got an eyeful of more than a dozen beauties from the El Cajon, Calif., builder. But the DCB fleet at the 2019 regatta will blow it away as company principals Tony Chiaramonte, Jeff Johnston and Paul Miller are expecting to top last year’s 73-boat field this year.

A brand-specific happening, the DCB Regatta is by all accounts a laidback affair with a fun/lunch run, plenty of running and chill time on the river and an awards dinner/celebration that evening. As Johnson is covering the Lake Powell Challenge the weekend prior, I’ll be heading to Lake Havasu to cover the DCB happening on scene for the first time. It’s light duty to be sure, but as I report almost every new DCB delivery in any given year I’m looking forward to hanging out with some of the owners I only know through mobile phone calls, text messages and emails.

The quantity of organized go-fast boating events definitely takes a dive in September. But the quality is right up there with the best of them.

You just have to look West.

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