Super Cat Fest, which wrapped up last weekend at Camden on the Lake Resort in Lake Ozark, Mo., is the best damn high-performance catamaran show in the world. When it comes to brand quality and diversity, you won’t find a better in-water collection of big-dollar beauties. Sales are not uncommon—just ask Jeff Johnston of DCB, John Cosker of Mystic Powerboats or Tony Cutsuries of Skater Powerboats.
For the boat owners who participate, Super Cat Fest is simply a free-flowing good time where deep friendships are made and renewed among people who share a passion for speed on the water.
For many excellent reasons, John Woodruff doesn’t like to miss Super Cat Fest. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
But the event isn’t all business or pleasure, thanks to its annual Saturday night Super Cat 4 Kids Auction and dinner. And for the past five years, Georgia’s John Woodruff, a bon vivant performance boat lover who brings his color-matched, Windship-named 48-foot MTI catamaran and seven-seat Bell Long Ranger helicopter to the annual waterfront exhibition at the resort, has picked up the dinner tab.
Woodruff didn’t make it to the Super Cat Fest this year. His mother is recovering from a stroke and for the past 169 days he has isolated himself so he can visit her. The last thing he wants to do is to bring COVID-19 virus to an elderly woman with significant comorbidities.
“You know, I stayed up really late Saturday night to watch the auction livestream,” he said, then chuckled. “When I got up the next morning, I didn’t have to drag the boat 12 hours back home. And I thought, ‘I’m starting to like this deal.’ ”
Woodruff’s annual dinner-tab grab in the Show Me State was born out of a need to bring Super Cat Fest attendees into one location for the auction, which this year saw about 100 go-fast boat lovers sit down for supper and raised more than $200,000 for various local charities. Before then, getting Super Cat Fest participants in one place for an auction after a long Saturday on the water was—pun intended—like herding cats. Woodruff’s generosity created efficiency, which in turn leads to exceptional generosity each year.
“Having the dinner gathers everyone in one place,” he said. “This year, thanks to about 10 people, we hit some really big numbers.”
Woodruff plans to return to Super Cat Fest next year. He missed this one only because he had to. It was the right thing to do. As anyone who’s even casually brushed by him during the event can tell you, he has too much fun to miss it in 2021.
And once again he’ll be picking up the dinner tab at the Saturday night auction.
Absent this time around as was its owner, Woodruff’s Bell Long Ranger helicopter has become a Super Cat Fest fixture at the Camden On The Lake Resort.