For the second year in a row, Performance Center is handling the Cigarette Rendezvous—and expectations are high. Photo courtesy/copyright Brad Glidewell.
The last time Jim Kirkland of Lakeland, Fla., attended a Cigarette Racing Team Owners Rendezvous, the vaunted sportboat company was located at its original, dilapidated digs at the 188th in Miami. That was in either 2001 or 2002, as Kirkland, who owns a 38-foot Cigarette Top Gun sportboat built in 1993, recalled, and there was no need to bring a boat.
“It was really just a party one night with a dinner—they had it in the lamination shop— and they gave away a bunch of prizes, apparel, overnight bags and so on,” he said. “But it was a great place to have your Sea Race book. All the old-schools guys like John Crouse [the author of Sea Race], Richie Powers and Knocky House were there. I got like 20 autographs in my book that night.”
Next time Kirkland heads for a Cigarette Owner Rendezvous, more specifically June 17-19 at Performance Boat Center in Osage Beach, Mo., he’ll be bringing his boat and his wife, Patty. Of course, he’ll have to trailer his vintage 38-footer more than 1,100 miles to get there, and once the event is over he’ll haul the boat to Marathon, Fla., so he can catch the Super Boat International race the following weekend. Then it’s back to Lakeland for the couple. By the time he’s home, Kirkland will have hauled his boat more than 3,000 miles.