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Commentary: The ‘Eclectic’ Texas Outlaw Challenge

When describing the Texas Outlaw Challenge, the word eclectic is perfect as the annual event offers something for everyone. Paul Robinson and his team have put together a multi-day affair that brings together powerboat enthusiasts from across the country. Its location in Seabrook makes it relatively easy to access for boaters from the south, and the friendliness of Texas—as well as the local boating community—makes it even easier to enjoy the festivities.


An eclectic mix of boats showed up again for the Texas Outlaw Challenge. Photos courtesy/copyright Jared Powell/Speedonthewater.com

Once you get to the event, you’ll find an incredible mix of boats. Everything from classic offshore boats and new sport catamarans to massive center consoles. The first on-water event was the top-speed shootout on Friday morning. Although there were some heavy hitters in the field, poor weather conditions greeted them early on Friday morning as some strong southeast winds created a pretty choppy course. Unfortunately there was an accident in the shootout, but based on several reports, the driver and throttleman are doing OK.

In my opinion, the main draw at the Texas Outlaw Challenge was the pool party at Kenny Armstrong’s place. As the first stop of the poker run, the home provided an incredible setup for hundreds of people to hang out and find some cold drinks. A DJ, giant pool, food, bikini contest and dozens of cool boats all made Armstrong’s the place to be on Friday afternoon. I can’t remember the last time I was at a party where there were five helicopters in the backyard—I guess I don’t get out enough.

Check out the slideshow above for more images taken by Speedonthewater.com correspondent Jared Powell.

Barge 295 right on Clear Lake acted as the main hub for many activities. When I say “on” the lake, I mean on the lake as it is floating. Well at least I think it’s floating—at night on the dance floor it definitely feels like it’s floating. There also are many watering holes and entertainment venues around Seabrook and Kemah, providing a fun atmosphere for those in town for the event.

One of the great things I saw at one of the marinas during the shootout and later in the day, was many families watching from shore and enjoying the day—moms and dads with the kids getting out and enjoying the show. It’s clear that the eclectic nature of the Texas Outlaw Challenge, along with the boating community, does a fantastic job of bringing people together.

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