With the Muskegon Powerboat Weekend—the first event of the 2020 West Michigan Offshore season—coming up fast and facing COVID-19 pandemic safety restrictions established by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention as well as their own state’s mandates, the organizers had a simple choice. They could cancel the event or run it under those guidelines.
West Michigan Offshore president Roger Zuidema and his board of directors opted for the latter for last Saturday’s WMO season-opener, which they renamed the Muskegon “Watch Us Grow” Powerboat Rally featuring a daylong fun run. The result was an 82-boat turnout for a brilliant day on the water in flawless conditions.
West Michigan Offshore adapted to the challenges posed by coronavirus safety guidelines and produced an 80-plus boat event. Photo by Brian Caswell copyright Speed Shoot Photography.
“As offshore powerboat enthusiasts, we dream of perfect weather and Lake Michigan conditions,” said Zuidema. “Because we re-tooled the Muskegon Powerboat Weekend run to abide by current COVID-19 state guidelines, we got it and played in the perfect blue water of Lake Michigan under 80 degrees of sunshine.”
The fleet kicked off the event with its annual “Parade of Power” through the Muskegon Channel to Lake Michigan. From there, the boats cruised north to White Lake and spent the balance of the day exploring West Michigan ports.
“We love our natural venue,” said Zuidema. “It’s great that we can bring passionate boaters together. I just love seeing all the smiles on the faces of the people on their boats.”
Last Saturday’s “Watch Us Grow” fun run began with West Michigan Offshore traditional Parade of Power through the Muskegon Channel. Photo by Randy Claypool copyright Truly Michigan Aerial.
Among those smiles was that of West Michigan Offshore event newcomer Michael Truesdale, who ran a 22-foot Donzi in the event.
“This was my first time running with West Michigan Offshore,” he said after the run. “But it won’t be my last.”
The next West Michigan Offshore event is Rock The Coast, July 17-19, starting in Grand Haven. It will include a Friday afternoon fun run in honor of former offshore racer Keith Holmes, who died in a racing accident in 2017, a multi-stop poker run on Saturday and more.