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August Event Outlook: Three Gems Ahead Of One Grand Finale

There is good news and bad about August 1. First, the good—it means you have one full month of summer boating ahead. Now the bad—it means you only have one full month of summer boating left.

Perspective is everything, right? But in the interest of maintaining a glass half-full attitude, here’s a look at what’s on tap with organized go-fast boating events between now and September 1

LEOPA Thunderfest, August 6

The first organized event of this month, the LEOPA Thunderfest is set for this weekend. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

If you haven’t signed up for this event on Lake Erie and hosted out of Put-In-Bay, Ohio, by the Lake Erie Offshore Powerboat Association, you don’t have much time left as it’s just five days away. But high-performance marine insurance man Devin Wozencraft, who travels to more go-fast boating events in a year than most people will in their lifetimes, swears by it—and registration is still open. Said Wozencraft, “It’s always a blast.” Why not find out for yourself?

Big Cat Poker Run, August 11-13

The Big Cat Poker Run is the Golden State’s strongest organized go-fast boating event. Photos courtesy Kris Wesenhagen/KKJ Media

When it comes to poker runs, California is a bit of a wasteland. The primary exception to this is the Big Cat Poker Run, which runs through the mesmerizing sloughs of the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta in Northern California and benefits the Discovery Bay (Calif.) Lion’s Club. Registration is still open and for those who arrive early the traditionally popular Friday lunch run to is coming back, though at Smith Landing in Antioch rather than its traditional Tower Park location.

Lake Champlain Poker Run, August 19-20

Like Lake Champlain itself, the surrounding backdrop for the poker run that bears its name is breathtaking. Photo by Tim Sharkey copyright Sharkey Images.

Limited to 75 entries, the fourth annual Lake Champlain Poker Run in Vermont has become one of top go-fast boating events in the Northeast. Credit that to the beautiful, 100-plus-mile-long waterway and the collective laidback, gracious attitude of organizers Nicole Carlson, Brian Hoar, Chris Fisher and David Wulfson. The crazy thing about this year’s event? There are still 15 slots left for would-be participants.

Lake Of The Ozarks Shootout, August 24-28

If current plans hold, Factory Billet will return to defend its Lake of the Ozarks Shootout overall V-bottom Top Gun championship. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.

Here is perhaps the coolest thing about the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout: Unless you’re planning on competing in the two-day top-speed contest on the three-quarter-mile course, you don’t have to register for anything. (You might, however, want to make some lodging arrangements for the week.) You just show up and enjoy planned events such as the Wednesday evening, Waves And Wheels-backed Shoot On The Strip or the Performance Boat Center welcome party—complete this year with the premiere of the “In The Lead With Tyler Miller” documentary-style video produced by Speed On The Water and Scrapyard Media.

Want to see an outrageous gathering of high-performance catamarans and center consoles? Head for Super Cat Fest, which runs concurrently with Shootout, at the Camden the Lake Resort. As for viewing the Shootout itself, the mile-long-spectator fleet is a great choice for folks who don’t have anywhere to be at the end of the day as it takes time for the giant fleet to disperse. For those who prefer to keep their options a bit more open, the Shootout action is broadcast in real time in just about every watering hole and restaurant at the lake.

If you join the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout spectator fleet, allow yourself plenty of time to get to wherever you’re staying when the day is done.

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