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HomeEvent CoverageTiki Lee’s Rocks Again! Teasers Skater Defends Fastest On The River Title In Maryland

Tiki Lee’s Rocks Again! Teasers Skater Defends Fastest On The River Title In Maryland

Three days of non-stop excitement in Sparrows Point, Md., ended Sunday afternoon as the Tiki Lee’s Shootout On The River concluded with an air show and a boutique boat show and demonstration day for manufacturers such as the event’s main boat sponsor, Glasstream Powerboats of Dothan, Ala. Sunday’s festivities at Tiki Lee’s Dock Bar, the host location for the third annual event, followed Saturday’s top-speed competition and Friday’s poker run.

Backed by Teasers in Key West, Fla., Maryland Offshore Performance Marine Center‘s Andy Imhof and Mitch Kramer ran Imhof’s 36-foot Skater faster than any other boat on the Shootout On The River’s three-quarter-mile course. Photo by Randy Nuzzo/Powerboat Photos

While the poker run attracted an excellent mix of performance catamarans and sportboats, center consoles made up an even larger portion of the 97-boat fleet than the first two years of the event. The center console participation grew in the Shootout as well, which likely was spurred on by Glasstream and its new dealer, Total Marine, which sponsored the event and also sells Fountain Powerboat models among other brands at its four dealerships in the Northeast and Florida.

“It was another great event,” said Jim Renfrow, who co-owns Total Marine with Tom Caruso. “We enjoyed showing off the new GSX models from Glasstream and delivering a new 32 GSX to a happy customer. We can’t wait to do it again next year.”

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Nearly 100 boats participated in the Tiki Lee’s Shootout On The River poker run on Friday.

Ashley Strong, Glasstream’s director of sales and marketing, had never been to the run but she agreed with Caruso about wanting to return for the 2024 event.

“This year was our first year being a sponsor and we were a premiere sponsor,” Strong said. “David Carey and his team at Tiki Lee’s made this event a first-class experience for everyone and made sure the boats were showcased well. The shootout was a great time and the air shows really made it a unique experience.

“We can’t wait to come back next year and do this again,” she added.

Based on the team’s winning performance Saturday, the Maryland Offshore Performance Marine Center duo of Andy Imhof and Mitch Kramer will return in 2024 as the team is going to need to defend its title for the second year after running the same radar-captured speed—137 mph—that earned the Teasers-backed 36-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran the overall 2022 Fastest On The River award last July.

With customers and teammates by its side, the Maryland Offshore team celebrated its Fastest On The River victory at Tiki Lee’s Dock Bar. Photo courtesy Dov Goldstein/DockBars.

Kramer, who also ran his personal 30-foot Spectre Powerboats catamaran to a top speed of 86 mph in the Shootout, was overjoyed by the outcome in the canopied Skater owned by Imhof, who founded Maryland Offshore in 1996. He said they were concerned about the competition from local performance boater David Landsman, who brought his recently updated 42-foot MTI with twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines that he ran in Friday’s poker run to the Shootout.

Landsman, who said he’s still getting used to the boat and getting it dialed in, reached a top speed of 127 mph—although he said he saw 134 mph on GPS. Kramer and other racers also said they saw higher GPS numbers than the radar guns recorded.

“There were a lot of late nights that went into getting Teasers ready for the shootout,” Kramer said, adding that Imhof and he worked after hours on the Skater most nights since client boats always come first. “I don’t think either of us have left the shop before midnight in a couple of weeks because we had customer boats to focus on during the day. It’s been somewhat out of control, but it was well worth it.

“We were scrambling a little right before, but everything paid off and the boat ran like a champ,” he continued. “We take a lot of pride in our engines because we picked out every single part and we’ve done every upgrade that we thought would help make the engines better. We know we don’t have the prettiest boat or the biggest budget—in fact, our boat is a little bit of a Frankenstein when it comes down to it—but no one beat us and that feels really good.”

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Check out the slideshow above for more images from the Shootout On The River.

Kramer, who added that the Skater’s acceleration with its 1,100-hp engines, is out of this world at 100-plus mph, said he had a great time during Friday’s poker run and was pleased that the Maryland Offshore customers that signed up had fun and made it back without any mechanical issues.

“All of our customers had a great day on the water, and some of them ran their boats the next day in the Shootout,” Kramer said. “We got pretty lucky with the weather all weekend. It was supposed to be worse, but most of it missed us. We had some sprinkles here and there, but during the poker run we could see the rain falling in spots out in the bay so we were able to avoid it.”

Kramer added that it was cool to see so many different types of boats competing in the top-speed contest. Whether participants were in a multi-outboard-powered center console, a high-performance catamaran or a single-engine V-bottom, each participant got their time on the course and a chance to show how fast their boat can run in three quarters of a mile.

Participants in the Tiki Lee’s event for the third year in a row, Erik Pennypacker and his daughter, Ashley, won their class with a top speed of 77 mph in their 21-foot Scarab, Blown Budget.

David Carey, who owns Tiki Lee’s Dock Bar, ran his new Sportsman center console powered by three new 400-hp Mercury Marine V-10 Verado outboard engines in the poker run on Friday.

“We did not get out much at all this spring to prepare like we wanted to, but we still put in the work to win again,” Erik Pennypacker wrote in a Facebook post. “I love you more than you know, Ashley Pennypacker—watch out for the fourth annual next year. Thanks to all who came out to support and cheer everyone on and to those who helped either that day or the days and weeks leading up to the event. We could not have done it with out great people and sponsors.”

Ashley Pennypacker thanked her father for the opportunity.

“Thank you to everyone who came out to cheer me on, and thank you, Erik Pennypacker, for keeping me calm and talking me past my anxiety with the choppy water,” she posted on Facebook. “We weren’t as fast as last year but we still managed to bring home the win in our class! I can’t wait to see what next year brings.”

Other notable class winners in the Shootout included the Fastest Woman On The River, Christie Ungarten of Maryland, who reached 80 mph on the radar gun in her 22-foot Lil Mo Apache V-bottom, and her husband, Frank Ungarten, who ran 87 mph in the same boat. Another female driver, Courtney Mangini, hit 61 mph in her 21-foot Baja, Flirtin’ With Disaster.

The next closest catamaran top speed to Imhof’s Skater and Landsman’s MTI was 115 mph, which was recorded by Jim Miller in his 46-foot canopied Skater Lick This. Connor Toomey had the fastest outboard-powered cat at the event as his 32-foot Doug Wright clocked a 101-mph top speed. The fastest V-bottom at the event was Bill Nohle’s 50-foot Cigarette, Thunderstruck, which is powered by triple Mercury Racing 1075SCi engines and ran 99 mph.

Maryland performance boat enthusiast David Landsman enjoyed the poker run and the shootout in his “new” MTI.

Several center consoles made passes down the course as well. The fastest in the group was Jack Cuoto’s 88-mph pass in his 39-foot Nor-Tech dubbed Trimmed Out. Richard Leon’s 82-mph run in his 38-footer from Fountain Powerboats was the next fastest, followed by a Glasstream GSX 360LS that reached 79 mph and a 34-foot Fountain that went 66 mph. All three of those boats were part of the Total Marine fleet at the event. And Leon’s Fountain, which is named Miami Vice and was the 2022 class winner, boasts at top speed of 104 mph with triple Mercury Racing 450R engines.

Overall, the Tiki Lee’s Shootout On The River proved it is here to stay with an impressive third-year event that saw improvements in every aspect of the event. And thanks to a long list of sponsors, including title sponsor LifeMed Institute, everything from the bikini contest and the evening bands to the airshows by stunt pilot David Windmiller to the dockage and the service at the docks and restaurant, was top-notch.

One other cool thing to note is that David Carey, the owner of Tiki Lee’s, and his team made several kids’ day on Friday. After realizing that all of the poker run boats had caused a bit of a distraction for the Havre de Grace Youth Sailing Program the last two years around Hutchins Park, Tiki Lee’s paid for every participant and staff member to enjoy a Kona Ice from a truck at the park and also handed out Tiki Lee’s-branded sunglasses and hats.

Editor’s note: At the time this articles was published, final results for Saturday’s competition had not been posted. Please check the event website for complete results.

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