The cancellation of this weekend’s official Skaterfest event in the Detroit metro area didn’t stop a few Skater Powerboats owners from showing up at organizer Ron Szolack’s doorstep in Harrison Township, Mich., yesterday. Among those who made the trek was Skater owner Chris Ryder of New York and Sam Hanna, his girlfriend for the better part of two years.
Idling their way toward matrimony, Chris Ryder and Sam Hanna got engaged today on the Detroit River today. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedonthewater.com.
Strike that. As of this writing, Hanna is no longer Ryder’s girlfriend. She’s his fiancé.
Ryder proposed today as they idled on the Detroit River in his well-known Skater 368 cat called Crisis Management.
Asked when he decided to propose, Ryder laughed. “Day two,” he said, then chuckled again. “I feel amped up.”
“I was like no way, no way, no way,” said Hanna, who said yes to Ryder’s in-boat proposal. “I’m still in shock.”
Southwest Florida-based readers Amanda and Don Gardner, longtime friends of Ryder, tipped speedonthewater.com off yesterday to this afternoon’s marriage proposal. And they couldn’t be happier for him.
“Chris is our best friend and we’ve seen him at the highest and lowest times of his life,” said Amanda. “He’s our brother, and our brother has met his perfect co-pilot.”
Chris Ryder hasn’t missed a Skaterfest in the event’s nine-year history, but this one with now-fiancé Sam Hanna will surely be his most memorable.
Said Szolack, who knew what was coming today, “This is a first. There’s never a dull moment with the Skaterfest group.”