No matter how well organized you are, no matter how many times you’ve put together a successful performance-boating event and how dedicated your team of volunteers is, you can’t control the weather. And boating events are, by nature, sensitive to bad weather.
Or are they? From Thursday through Saturday, weather dogged last weekend’s Old Hickory Fun Run in Old Hickory, Tenn.—just a stone’s throw from Nashville—and the participants didn’t let it out drown out their good time. When downpours forced most of the folks who planned to head Nashville by boat for lunch to abandon that mission, most took to their vehicles and drove into the famed Music City.
Despite rain squalls throughout the weekend, the 2016 Old Hickory Fun Run was an unqualified success. Photos courtesy/copyright Devin Williams/Devin Williams Photography.
“A little rain wasn’t going to dampen our spirits,” said Chad Collier, who has organized the Tennessee Powerboat Club event for the past four years. “So we made the smart move and drove to downtown—we did it ‘by truck.’ I think four or five boats still actually went down to Nashville.”
And then sometimes you just get a break. Friday’s deluge could have put a damper on the annual fun run and raft-up, but it happened while the group was at the lunch stop. “We were mostly inside,” said Collier. By the time group headed to Two-Foot Cove for the raft-up, the skies had cleared and the good times rolled into the late afternoon and right into the evening, where the party kept on going at the Rock Bottom Brewery in Nashville.
Rain fell hard again later that night, which raised the level of Old Hickory Lake and brought a slew of debris into the water that the 125 to 130 V-bottoms, catamarans and center consoles had to navigate during Saturday’s “official” fun run. So Collier and his team decided to shorten the course “for safety reasons” and added another large—and uncommonly precise—raft-up.
Check out the slide show above for more action from the Old Hickory Poker Run.
While the final numbers aren’t in, Saturday night’s post-dinner live and silent auctions at Sam’s Sports Grill, the host venue, at the Blue Turtle Bay Marina, raised substantial funds for Operation Stand-Down for veterans and for the family of Anthony and Tammy Reece, who died in a tragic boating accident on Georgia’s Lake Lanier a little more than two weeks ago. (The final totals being calculated and will be released today.)
“I get choked up just thinking about it,” said Collier on Sunday afternoon, as he sat down for a well-earned beer and a little lunch at Sam’s Sports Grill.
And the weather outside while Collier enjoyed his well-earned break? It was perfect.