In less than two weeks, the Kentucky-based Kuttawa Cannonball Run fleet will take to the waters of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley for the fourth year in a row. And with 84 boats currently registered, the event—the first significant organized go-fast boating happening in June—likely will top the 100-boat mark with ease.
Set for June 5-6, the fourth annual Kuttawa Cannonball Run is on pace to attract more than 100 boats. Photo from the 2019 Kuttawa Cannonball Run by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedonthewater.com.
Less than two months ago, the event had just 36 boats registered. But with COVID-19 restrictions easing in most states—Kentucky begins its next reopening phase on June 1—the Kuttawa Cannonball Run is benefitting from pent-up demand for time on the water, according to its organizers. Local hotels that will serve the run are nearing capacity, according to said Jeff Hoefling, who co-founded the run with Stephen Miles of Stephen Miles Design in Owensboro, Ky.
“We are doing everything we can to follow guidelines to hold our event safely, and we have 100 percent support from the county,” said Hoefling, who owns and operates Lively Machine Company in Evansville, Ind. “Everybody will be outside on Friday and Saturday night to help with social distancing. All the goodie bags will be pre-packaged. No money will be exchanged—for lunch on Friday and lunch and dinner on Saturday, we’ll distribute meal tickets.”
To keep everyone outside for Saturday’s night dinner and celebration, Hoefling and company got creative and are bringing in food trucks and setting up a large open-air tent. It’s a catering solution he plans to continue in future Kuttawa Cannonball Run events.
“I think it will make it a little more fun and give it a little more oomph,” he said. “We’re going to really spread out—I think it will be like a big tailgate party.
“People are coming from the around country,” he continued. “We have participants coming from Lake Havasu in Arizona, Colorado and Vermont. We’ve had really good feedback. People are tired of being cooped up.”