Thanks to his good friend, Andy Imhof of Maryland Offshore Performance Marine Center, Justin Wagner of Waves and Wheels in Osage Beach, Mo., opted to make the trek to Baltimore last July with his 33-foot PlayCraft pontoon in tow to participate in the inaugural Tiki Lee’s Shootout On The River hosted by Tiki Lee’s Dock Bar in Sparrows Point, Md. Wagner and his wife, Cicely, had a blast in the poker run and at the Tiki Lee’s docks. So much so that Wagner is currently headed to this week’s second annual event (July 15-17) with two boats.
Waves and Wheels owner Justin Wagner is looking forward to running his Skater 318 catamaran at the Tiki Lee’s Shootout On The River poker run on Friday. Photos courtesy Justin Wagner
Wagner, who is hauling his recently completed PlayCraft 366 Waves and Wheels edition behind his custom F650 supertruck to Maryland with a stop to deliver one of his dog Rox’s pit bull puppies to his friends and customers, Steve and Marsha Brantley, is excited to show off the brand new 36-foot pontoon that is loaded with a high-end Waves and Wheels interior and a full-scale Bluave Marine Audio system.
On his way to Maryland, Justin Wagner met up with Waves and Wheels clients Steve and Marsha Brantley to deliver their pit bull puppy.
The pontoon will be on display at Tiki Lee’s during the poker run Friday and the top-speed shootout on Saturday along with Wagner’s recently acquired 2017 Skater Powerboats 318 catamaran featuring the same power as the PlayCraft—twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard engines. Earlier this week, Maryland Offshore’s Jermaine Smith picked up the Skater in Missouri to bring it to Maryland along with another one of Rox’s pups for clients of both companies, Joe and Michelle Erickson.
“We had so much fun at the event that I made sure to put it on the schedule for this year,” Wagner said, adding that there’s a chance he’ll run the 31-foot Skater on Saturday to see how fast he can get it on the three-quarter-mile course. “We can’t wait to see what people think of the new PlayCraft—it’s a head-turner that’s for sure.”
The new Waves and Wheels edition PlayCraft is going to be on display at the docks at Tiki Lee’s.
It’s clear Wagner can’t wait to join Imhof and a handful of Maryland Offshore customers for Friday’s poker run, which lead organizer David Carey said has 130 registered boats. Imhof is also excited to run his Teasers-sponsored 36-foot canopied Skater in the poker run and in the “Run What You Brung” shootout, where he hopes to compete for the Fastest On The River award.
With help from his talented team, Imhof is planning to provide support for four different customers who are doing the poker run as well.
Eric Glaser of Midnight Express Boats is also going to pull double-duty at the event with the 100th 43-footer from the Miami-based company. Powered by five Mercury Racing 450R engines, the stunning 43 Solstice is going to do the poker run and then show off its muscle in the top-speed contest on Saturday, which is going to be livestreamed on the event website and Facebook page.
Eric Glaser of Midnight Express plans to run his 43 Solstice powered by five Mercury Racing 450R engines in the poker run on Friday and the Shootout on Saturday. Photo courtesy Midnight Express.
Another center console sure to receive a lot of attention on Friday, Saturday and Sunday—a day reserved for a boat show and demos from the Tiki Lee’s docks—is a new Fountain Powerboats 38 SC center console powered by quad Mercury Racing 450R engines. Owned by Total Marine’s Tom Caruso, the 38-footer is expected to be a contender for fastest overall center console in the top-speed contest.
Total Marine, Midnight Express and Maryland Offshore are a few of the event’s primary sponsors, along with Don Julio, LifeMed Institute, White Claw and WMF Watercraft Marine, which is owned by Bill Forenski, who plans to have several Avalon pontoon models on display (read about his plans here).
“The interest in this year’s event is crazy,” said Carey, a dedicated Midnight Express customer who added that there are currently 40 boats registered for the “Run What You Brung” shootout. “We have 100 slips rented for Saturday and Friday’s lineup is insane with the poker run, an air show with two planes and the bikini contest. We’ve got three bands lined up and a DJ, plus the pool is open this year. We’re adding a 30-minute fireworks show—the first one ever on Back River—on Saturday night following the shootout and air show.”
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