For Skater Powerboats fans from casual to hardcore, Skater Fest in the Detroit area is a dream event that attracts some of the finest high-performance catamarans ever created by the Douglas, Mich., custom boat builder. After taking a break last year, the event is coming back August 10-11. With 30-plus attendees committed so far, according to organizer Ron Szolack, it could end up attracting the biggest fleet in its seven-year history.
The list of participants reads like a “Who’s Who” of the national Skater cognoscenti.
Skaterfest is returning this summer—and could be bigger and better than ever. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden.
“We have commitments from Win Farnsworth, Jim Lee, Bill Pyburn, Jr., Vinnie Riffice, Chris Ryder, Michael Pierce, Michael Ciasulli, Steve Gordon, Greg Harris and Yvonne Aleman, Danny DeSantis, Todd Fountain, Cole Leibel, Devin Wozencraft, Tyson Garvin and Tristan Collins-Garvin, Beau Renfroe, Matt Garland, Mike Goldbaugh and others. And of course, (Skater company founder and owner) Peter Hledin will be there. He’s come to every one of our events.”
According to Szolack, the event will feature many of the newest Skater builds, as well as several well-known classics. As for the always enthusiastic organizer, he’ll be showcasing his own new—and yet to be publicly unveiled—Skater 388 catamaran powered by Mercury Racing 1100 engines.
“It’s the first eight-seat Skater,” he said. “The cockpit has been widened 13 inches and it has a 77-inch tunnel.”
Szolack said the event will follow its traditional format, meaning participants who arrive Thursday night will head a local Italian restaurant for dinner. Friday will feature a fun run in advance to the group’s evening outing to Szolack’s legendary Flight Club nightclub.
“On Saturday, we leave Metro Beach around 11 a.m. and run past the bridge in downtown Detroit to the shipping channel,” he said. “From there we run about 60 miles, all the way to St. Clair, for lunch at Pepper Joe’s. Then we head back to Metro Beach, where the chef from my restaurant prepares dinner.
“For those who don’t head out Sunday, we usually do a little fun run to lunch and a photo shoot,” he added. “Both (photographers) Pete Boden and Jay Nichols, plus a videographer, are coming.”