The second West Michigan Offshore happening of the summer, last Saturday’s Rock The Coast Poker Run attracted 65 high-performance powerboat and hundreds of participants. And true to form, Lake Michigan displayed its typical assortment of water conditions from mirror glass to hefty swells that served as liquid full-send launch ramps.
When it came to water conditions, last weekend’s Rock The Coast Poker Run had something for everyone. Photos by Brian Caswell copyright Speedshot Photography.
That translated to something for everyone on the water during the weekend, which began Friday with the Keith Holmes Memorial Fun Run. More than 70 boats took to the moderately sporty water to honor Holmes, a popular offshore racer from Michigan who died during an accident at the 2017 St. Clair River Classic.
“Each year we remember Keith by doing what he loved to do, running his boat,” said Roger Zuidema, the president of West Michigan Offshore.
With conditions from flat to sporty, the following day’s poker run began in Grand Haven and stopped in Holland, Saugatuck and Port Sheldon before returning to to its starting point. Participants received a sticker at each stop and exchanged those stickers for poker-hand playing cards as the post-run celebration.
“When it comes to sporty boating conditions, Lake Michigan can bring it,” said Zuidema. “Some like launching their boats from big waves, while others like to go fast on sweet flat water.”
Enjoy more images from Rock The Coast Poker Run.
The event raised $5,800 for Shields of Hope West Michigan, which according to a press release from West Michigan Offshore is run by public safety professionals in West Michigan with “a mission to spread hope, love, and encouragement to those affected by cancer.” On Friday afternoon, West Michigan Offshore members gave rides to 15 guests battling the disease, including eight-year-old Kellen Nykamp.
“I’ve only been on a boat once and I’m really excited,” Nykamp said before his outing.
But West Michigan Offshore members who gave rides experienced the weekend’s best pay-off.
“This is the most important reason that I volunteer for West Michigan Offshore,” said Scott Otterbein, the vice-president of West Michigan Offshore. “These opportunities are the essence of what we do. I just love seeing the excitement and smiles of participants taking rides on boats, some for the first time.”
The Rock The Coast event gave spectators plenty to enjoy last weekend.
Next up on the West Michigan Offshore event schedule is the Gold Coast Summer Blast, August 12-13.