With upward of 120-plus boats in attendance for West Michigan Offshore’s second annual Rock the Coast fun run, the wide-ranging group of participants, which included everyone from board members who founded the club three years ago to newcomers who were running with WMO for the first time, had a blast at the event.
Erik Cooley and company catch some air in Cooley’s 38-foot Cigarette during the Rock the Coast event in West Michigan. Photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
According to multiple sources, the event, which went from Michigan’s Grand Haven to Holland and back with a stop for a raft-up in Port Sheldon, the run went great even though the water got a little rough and the wet weather got a little wet.
While there was an accident—Bill and Renae Gibson were injured when their 34-foot Saber V-bottom spun out (fortunately the safety procedures WMO had in place led to a best-case-scenario rescue effort)—the run was upbeat, especially the raft-up after lunch at Pigeon Lake.
“We had an excellent turnout for lunch at Boatwerks, which did an amazing job handling our large group, and I bet there were more than 50 boats rafted up in Port Sheldon,” said Chris Dekker, one of the board members behind the nonprofit organization of powerboat enthusiasts launched in April 2015. “This year’s event was at least 25 percent larger in terms of boats. And we had a great spread ranging from 23-foot Powerquests to 52-foot Outerlimits. That’s the best thing about this group—everyone feels like they belong whether they have a single-engine sport boat or a million-dollar catamaran.”
Enjoy 10 high-flying images from Rock the Coast in the slideshow above.
Following Friday night’s check-in gathering and meet-n-greet that took over the docks at the Grand Haven Municipal Marina, the boats took off Saturday morning from Grand Haven to Boatwerks Restaurant on Lake Macatawa. Following the tasty quick-service lunch, the participants were free to do as they pleased.
Donovan and Kylee Page, who were doing their first WMO event in their 26-foot Powerquest powered by a MerCruiser 496 Mag engine, enjoyed the event and are likely to attend more WMO events in the future. In fact, the residents of Lake Odessa, Mich., are just about maxed out for the small lake they normally boat on so running with WMO was a welcomed change.
“We had a good time and met a bunch of great people,” Donovan Page said in an interview on Sunday after he finished cleaning up the broken glass in his boat from the starboard-side windshield that blew out when a wave hit it coming back from the raft-up. “It sucks that we destroyed our windshield but after hearing about the accident, that put our damage and the cuts on my legs and feet into perspective. I’m just glad we didn’t get hurt.
“Besides our windshield misfortune, I felt like the event was really well organized,” he continued. “I’d never been to Boatwerks before—it was beautiful and the lunch was enjoyable. Being able to meet face to face with so many people we’re friends with through the Facebook pages was cool, too.”
Check out the slideshow above for 10 more scenic shots from Rock the Coast.
Derek Powers, a WMO board member with a 37-foot Active Thunder, said he had a great time and was impressed by the turnout.
“Minus the accident, everyone had fun,” Powers said. “Boatwerks handled the event perfectly. The food was excellent and the docking went smoothly. We had some water conditions that made
Don’t believe Powers? See for yourself in the slideshows above.
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