Based on the weather around most of the country so far this year, I’m guessing we’re eventually going to come out of winter and—having completely skipped spring—head straight into summer. That’s a shame because spring, on and off the water, can be awfully nice. But with Memorial Day weekend starting tomorrow and crappy weather still hanging around so many places, I can’t see it happening any other way.
That’s the bad news. The good news?
June is just a week away and it will kick off the 2019 summer go-fast boating season in style. And while there aren’t any all-new happenings I’m aware of in June, there’s an excellent mix of established events that will be going on throughout the month. Here’s a quick look at five of them.
June 7-8, Oshkosh, Wis.
With the Four Horsemen Poker Run celebrating its 10th anniversary organizer Shannon Radtke was shooting to attract 100 boats to the fleet this year. Though she isn’t there yet, only a fool would bet against her. But fleet size, like so many male-driven size-related metrics, is overrated. The Four Horsemen Poker Run is a true family affair, and all you have to do to be welcomed into the family is sign up—and show up.
June 14-15, Cumberland, Ky.
Not to be confused with the annual September Lake Cumberland Poker, the Lake Cumberland Thunder Run is a joyful season-opener on the popular Kentucky waterway organized by Justin Lucas, one the nicest and most authentic people you’ll ever meet in the go-fast boating world. Massive raft-ups and endless good times are standard for this event, which is entering its 11th year.
June 21-22, Kuttawa, Ky.
For performance-boat enthusiasts who just can’t get enough of Kentucky waterways—and there are more than a few of you—the Kuttawa Cannonball run on the weekend following the Lake Cumberland Thunder Run is the ticket. The third annual Kuttawa happening is being organized, as it has been from the start, by local go-fast boat owner Jeff Hoefling and the ever-colorful boat painter Stephen Miles of Stephen Miles Design. Neither Hoefling nor Miles is afraid of a good time, so this relatively new event is sure to deliver.
June 21-22, Erie, Pa.
In 2018, the Erie Poker Run had more to celebrate than its fourth anniversary on the evil waters of Lake Erie—for the first time, conditions actually were calm enough for participants to complete the entire run. Without question, the Erie Poker Run is a big-water event. But thanks to customer-service-oriented organizer Anthony Scioli, it’s also one of the most accommodating and gracious.
June 19-23, Seabrook, Texas
Like so many things in the Lone Star State—Cowboy owner Jerry Jones’ ego, the size of the average steak, rodeos and more—the Texas Outlaw Challenge is massive. The event turns 12 this year and truly is one of the go-fast boating world’s marquee events. Organizer Paul Robinson is bringing back all of the happening’s most popular elements including its top-speed shootout and two-day poker run that includes its traditional pool party of the year (any year, for the record) at Houstonian Kenny Armstrong’s waterfront home. And this year, Saturday night’s celebration and casino night will be under one roof—MarineMax of Seabrook—for the first time.
Photos by Pete Boden, Jacob Davis and Jeff Helmkamp