Since 2011, a select group of Skater Powerboats catamaran owners has met each August for one long weekend in the Detroit Metro area to celebrate the famed brand. (The exception, of course, was pandemic-flattened 2020.) Skater fans such as California’s Dale Rayzor and Chris and Sam Ryder of New York have hauled their boats from across the country to be there at the invitation of Michigan-based performance-boat enthusiast Ron Szolack. But the demand for the event has simply outstripped Szolack’s ability to meet supply for an appropriate setting.
Founded by Michigander Ron Szolack, Skaterfest attracts some of the world’s finest high-performance catamarans each year. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
So for 2024 and the foreseeable future, the Skaterfest is moving to Lake Texoma, which straddles the Texas-and-Oklahoma border and will be sponsored by RP Elite Motors and Marine, the official dealer of the Douglas, Mich.-built catamaran brand.
“It’s going to be in late August and we’ll be teaming up with Casey Moore of the Texoma Powerboat Association,” said Ross Ramsey, of RP Elite Motors and Marine based in the Dallas area. “We want this to be a luxury experience for Skater owners.
“We also wanted to have it on a waterway large enough to do justice to the performance of the brand,” he added. “Lake Texoma is almost 90,000 acres.”
Szolack said he is delighted to see the event he founded stay alive. Producing Skaterfest in the Lake St. Clair area became increasingly difficult as Skaterfest grew through the years.
“It’s just gotten to be too big and the Coast Guard didn’t like it,” he explained. “But I’ll be in Texas in 2024 with everyone else.”
Szolack paused for a moment, then laughed.
“I’ll be there for the free lunch and dinner,” he said, then laughed again. “It’s payback time.”
Though it will be missed by go-fast boating fans in the area, Skaterfest simply outgrew its original St. Clair, Mich., location.
Added Ramsey, “Ron and I have become very close friends. I’m glad to have his blessing.”