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A True Professional

Lickity Split went over. Not in the shootout. After.”

That was the text message I received last Saturday just past noon from my speedonthewater.com co-publisher Jason Johnson, who spent most of last week in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., covering the Desert Storm Poker Run. For the first time in years, Johnson had to handle the assignment—a hefty one given that Desert Storm is a three-part event with its street party, poker run and top-speed shootout—solo as I had commitments elsewhere.

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Whether he's interviewing a marine  industry figure such as Iconic Marine Group's Fred Ross (above right) or reporting on scene, Jason Johnson (left) dedicates himself to accurate reporting and writing excellence. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

As it happened, Johnson stayed in the Lake Havasu City home of J.P. O’Donoghue, the owner of the Lickity Split DCB M35 catamaran involved in a tragic solo-boat accident after Saturday’s shootout, with O’Donoghue’s longtime friend, Brad Kloepfer and his wife, Connie.

It made sense. In covering the Lickity Split project closely since it began in 2015—he wrote six stories about it and even drove from Southern California to Arizona for the boat’s delivery and shakedown cruise—Johnson became friends with O’Donohue and Kloepfer. And they appreciated him and his extensive coverage so much that they had Visual Imagination of Pelicular, Mo., paint the speedonthewater.com name and logo on the color-matched hauler for the beautiful catamaran.

Read More: A True Professional

Related StoryKloepfer Remembered Following Fatal Accident On Lake Havasu In Lickity Split

Kloepfer Remembered Following Fatal Accident On Lake Havasu In Lickity Split

The performance boat community was saddened once again yesterday afternoon when a fatal boat accident cast a negative cloud over what was an overwhelmingly positive Desert Storm Poker Run in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. The beloved Brad Kloepfer, a local boater who runs the instantly recognizable DCB Performance Boats M35 Widebody Lickity Split with his friend who owns the boat, J.P. O’Donoghue, died in an accident when the 35-foot catamaran crashed on Lake Havasu, killing Kloepfer’s friend, Paul Selberg also of Lake Havasu City, and critically injuring his wife, Connie Davis Kloepfer.

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A local favorite, Lickity Split took part in Friday's Desert Storm Poker Run. Photo by Jeff Helmkamp/Helmkamp Photos

Read more: Kloepfer Remembered Following Fatal Accident On Lake Havasu In Lickity Split

Ballough’s Golden Ticket

I’m still in a little bit of la-la land is how Gary Ballough described his frame of mind after receiving the news early Tuesday morning that he’ll be the throttleman for the Dubai-based Victory Team’s No. 33 boat for the 2018 Union Internationale Motonautique XCAT World Championship season.

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Gary Ballough and Ahmed Al Hameli celebrate their victory at the Dubai Grand Prix to close out the 2017 XCAT World Championship. Photo courtesy Raffaello Bastiani/XCAT World Championship

Read more: Ballough’s Golden Ticket

Big Thunder Marine Customer Eager for New Baja 27 Outlaw

In the next month or two, Houston boater Chris Lutich is going to be eagerly awaiting the delivery of a boat that was just a pipe dream many years ago. That’s because Lutich, who had always wanted to own a new Baja Marine sportboat but thought it unlikely given the volatility of the brand before and after the last economic depression, recently ordered a 2018 Baja Marine 27 Outlaw from the team at Big Thunder Marine in Gravois Mills, Mo.

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Erin and Chris Lutich are excited about the new Baja Marine 27 Outlaw they ordered from Big Thunder Marine.

Read more: Big Thunder Marine Customer Eager for New Baja 27 Outlaw

Speed on the Water