Thanks to a core group of West Coast-based powerboat enthusiasts, a wide variety of performance boaters are going to have the opportunity to gather once again for the sixth annual Catalina Fun Run over Father’s Day weekend (June 19-20).
Running from the Southern California coast to Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island is an experience that dozens of performance boat owners will enjoy in mid June during the Catalina Fun Run. Photo by Daren Van Ryte/OC Photographics
According to primary event organizer Corey Vodvarka, who owns a gorgeous Eliminator Boats Eagle V-bottom, he’s expecting upward of 50 or more boats for this year’s Catalina Fun Run, which goes from Newport Beach, Calif., to Catalina’s Avalon Harbor and includes an overnight stay at the harbor with informal gatherings taking place at Descanso Beach Club and other happening places on the scenic island.
“My friends and I originally started this run because we wanted to promote offshore boating and give people something different to do,” said Vodvarka, who puts the run together with ace Orange County-based photographers Erick Bryner and Daren Van Ryte. “What we quickly realized is that a lot of boaters were curious about ocean boating but a little intimidated by it. It was definitely the kind of thing they wanted to do but weren’t sure about doing on their own. Having a group of boaters—experienced ocean boaters—doing it alongside them is reassuring.
“Now, heading into our sixth year, we’ve tried to organize things a little better for the participants,” he added. “We’ve written up what to expect, how the moorings work and more. We’ve fielded a lot of questions over the last few years so we have a good idea of what people need to know now. Our goal is to get participants comfortable enough that after the run they start doing it on their own with friends. That’s really how this all started anyway.”
Vodvarka expressed that the event would not be possible without several dedicated sponsors, most of which are businesses owned by his fellow boaters.
“We have so many great supporters—people who have made it possible for us to take this event to the next level and fly a helicopter so we can get some amazing images of everyone’s boats,” Vodvarka said. “They all want to see this event succeed and continue to grow. Our only limiting factor is lodging availability on the island, mainly because most of them require a two-night stay.
“We’re excited to welcome Tony Chiaramonte and the team at DCB Performance Boats as a sponsor this year,” he continued. “I know they’re planning to bring at least one of their M37R Widebody cats to showcase the boats’ capabilities in the open ocean, plus they’re trying to recruit some of their clients to come try the run to Catalina. I know there are a lot of people who are excited about DCB producing a boat that is ocean worthy.”
Vodvarka, who added that the Descanso Beach Club is going to have an area set aside for event participants to hang out and enjoy food and drink specials plus a DJ spinning music on Saturday night, said he can’t wait to see everyone in June, especially following last year’s low-key gathering because of the pandemic.