Although I fell behind on some reporting duties starting on Mother’s Day and throughout the rest of the week thanks to celebrating with my wife and mom, jumping on some breaking news stories and filming a couple of upcoming episodes of In The Lead in Kansas and Missouri, I’m finally getting to share the excellent images taken by speedonthewater.com chief photographer Pete Boden during the Kort 200–3.0 event, which was held in Springfield in place of the annual Tickfaw 200 Poker Run that was cancelled for the third year in a row because of unforeseen reasons.
Louisiana’s Jeff Ford had a blast running his Skater 308 catamaran in the Kort 200–3.0. Photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
Pandemic restrictions forced the cancellation of the popular poker run in 2020 and 2021, and both years several local performance boaters carried on the tradition to have some fun while creating as much of an economic impact for the community as they could. After the event was cancelled again in 2022—the new owners of Blood River Landing, the poker run’s host venue, vow that it will return better than ever in 2023—the boaters gathered on their own in an even bigger way.
“Wow, what a weekend!” exclaimed Kort Wittich, the namesake and primary organizer of the event he put together for friends to enjoy his home waters while the poker run gets back to business. “I want to thank everyone who came out and supported this event. You have no idea how much of a financial impact it made on this small community, especially after all the damage that Hurricane Ida left. To my knowledge, there were no accidents or incidents on the water; so a great job to all the boaters and participants.
“I also want to thank all the bars and restaurants that welcomed our group with open arms, serving us food, drinks and providing parking—this wouldn’t have been possible without all their hard work and effort,” he added. “And, last but not least, big shout out to my boy, Nate Michel, for helping me plan this whole event. I couldn’t have done it without him. Till next year, everyone stay safe on the water and keep it real!”
The overall consensus was the Wittich, who owns a Skater Powerboats catamaran Late 2 Kort, and his friends did a remarkable job organizing the event.
“It was awesome—the weather was great, we saw a lot of friends and we had a blast,” said Louisiana’s Jeff Ford, who owns a 30-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 400R engines. “It wasn’t as chaotic as it can be during Tickfaw. Any place you went, other than the Prop Stop, many of the docks were reserved for the heavy hitters. So parking for the ‘little guys’ wasn’t the easiest but we made the best of it.”
Ford, who is featured in the image above, said one of the only things that disappointed him about the weekend was the fact that he left a mat on the back of his boat while Boden was following him on Saturday.
“We got to Madisonville and noticed the mat was on the back,” Ford added. “I was like what the hell, we left the mat on there? Now I know it’s a 100-mph mat. I couldn’t believe it stayed on there.”
Check out the slideshow above for more images from the Kort 200–3.0.
Ford added that the service at The Anchor in Madisonville was surprisingly great. Nate Michel, the owner of the Cloud IX 40-foot MTI who assisted Wittich with the Kort 200–3.0, said the same thing, calling The Anchor the best venue setup of the event.
“They were on it—I couldn’t believe how fast they were,” Ford said. “It helped that their menu was limited; but it was still nice that they were efficient.”
MTI’s Tom Stuart, who was on hand to deliver a new MTI-V 50 luxury performance center console to brothers P.G. and Billy Georgiou of Kentucky, said he had a lot of fun at the event. When I saw him a few day later in Wentzville, Mo., at the MTI headquarters, he still got a huge smile on his face when discussing the boating he did with the Georgious and other MTI clients.
“Nate, Kort, Johnny Schillace and everyone else involved did such a great job,” Stuart said. “They put together got great stops and runs for us—especially for it being an ‘unofficial’ event. It seemed to me like everybody got along and had a good time.”
Highlights From The Kort 200–3.0, Part One
Image Of The Week: How Do You Get An MTI Guy Into A Skater?
Brothers Take Delivery Of New MTI-V 50 In Time For Louisiana Fun Run
Wittich And Friends Organize Third Kort 200 To Keep Tickfaw 200 Tradition Going
Wittich And Friends Enjoy Impromptu ‘Kort 200’ Gathering In Louisiana
Island Audio Completes Back 2 Kort Skater Makeover In Time For This Week’s Kort 2.0 Gathering