Every fall for the past 10 years or so, a small group of high-performance boats gathers on the Connecticut River for a usually chilly fun run of 50 miles or so. In recent years, the event has grown into a 60- to 70-boat fleet, mostly made up of outboard-powered vessels. This year was no exception.
As casual as it gets—welcome to the Connecticut River Pizza Run. Photos courtesy/copyright Kevin Kearney.
Organized by Rich Owen, last Sunday’s Connecticut River Pizza Run pulled in more than 60 boats and was complimented by absolutely stunning weather. The fleet started from from Haddam Meadows State Park and headed to a gorgeous private beach just a few miles away from Hartford. The group included everything from 15-foot Hydrostream Vipers to jet boats an even an annoyingly fast personal watercraft, as well as the former Drambuie on Ice raceboat, a 44 MTI catamaran. The run to the beach—some boats came to shore while others rafted up—was all about sharing great food and swapping high-performance boating stories, likely for the last time this season. More than 100 pizzas, as well as hundreds of fresh-baked cookies courtesy of the “Cookie Lady,” were inhaled by the group.
Among the prettier boats in the run was a 24-foot HTM catamaran owned by Rob Maltempo of Connecticut. (Maltempo also has a 32-foot Skater he uses on the Long Island Sound.) His HTM is powered by a 1,000-hp Saris Racing engine and has been clocked at speeds more than 110 mph.
For more images from the Connecticut River Pizza Run, check out the slideshow above.
If you like high-performance boats but don’t necessarily enjoy the egos that come with the poker run and offshore racing territory, this event is for you. I don’t believe there is a more laidback or enjoyable fun run out there. From the friendly people who donated their land for us to use to the cookout back at the launch ramp and the guys in the dinghy bringing pizza from the beach to the boats rafted up on the river, everyone was as helpful as possible. And everyone had a great time.
The performance boating community thrives on the natural camaraderie present when people who share a common interest get together. And it’s even better when you share that passion with friends, new and old, over a slice on a small beach on the shore of the Connecticut River.
Editor’s Note: A frequent contributor to speedonthewater.com, offshore racer Johnny Saris has covered several Offshore Powerboat Association races for the website this year.