After a great time at the (unofficial) Lake Hartwell Poker Run in South Carolina, which has been rescheduled to July 11-13, the next stop on our tour was the Lake Cumberland Thunder Run in Kentucky. But before that, my daughter, Lelani, and I headed to the mountains of North Carolina to spend some time with our good friends, Tres Martin, the founder of the Performance Boat School that bears his name, and his partner, Danielle La Favour. They have a beautiful 33-acre property full of horses, tractors and collectible vehicles—and performance boats.
Devin Wozencraft continued his 2019 events tour at the Lake Cumberland Thunder Run (click image to enlarge). Photo by Jason Johnson
After spending a few days with Tres and Danielle, Leilani and I headed to Knoxville where she flew home as she needed to get ready for a class trip to Germany with her Creative Writing Conservatory. From there I headed up to State Dock Marina at Lake Cumberland where I got to enjoy some time on the lake in advance of the event. Eric and Jenna Ellsworth’s beautiful houseboat became my office and my 30-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran became a transport vessel for day trips.
The Thunder Run event, which is organized by Justin Lucas and Dan Weiss, got underway on Thursday and my crew started arriving. I was thrilled to have friends Misty Rich, Jennifer Schmid and Branden Helton join me in my boat and assist me with the promotion side of my trip, and not to mention being a great help at the end (when boat owners need their friends the most) with loading up the boat, cleaning, packing and so on. These three folks were a big help and are welcome to join me any time.
Friday was changed up a bit from previous years where a new cove up in Beaver Creek was selected as the “Bonus Card Stop.” Friday also is raft-up day as all the participants are encouraged to hang out together—and it’s a truly special experience. Before heading to the bonus card stop, I took my crew to 76 Falls, a spot Misty and Jennifer had not seen before as this was their first trip to Kentucky.
Check out the slideshow above for more images from the Lake Cumberland Thunder Run.
Saturday was the official poker run day and it didn’t fail to offer all the excitement that can come with entering a poker run. Multiple waves of boats left in groups based on the boats’ size and speed. At the final card stop, we met up with longtime boat owner George Clay and his crew and they invited us to lunch and back to their houseboat when we were done. Let’s just say that George’s houseboat may be the most lavish and impressive houseboat I have ever seen.
“You can see why I don’t travel out to many other boating events,” he told me.
Checking out his amazing home away from home, I understood completely.
We finished our trip with a memorable evening at State Dock where the live band was pumping out the tunes, the fellowship was on-point, the Southern hospitality was at its best and the jars of homemade moonshine made the rounds. We even got to be part of a special proposal (read the story).
The Lake Cumberland Thunder Run is a special event and destination. I’ll definitely be back.
Editor’s note: Devin Wozencraft is the owner and founder the Southern California-based Wozencraft Insurance Agency, which specializes in high-performance powerboat coverage. This is his second article for speedonthewater.com and second season of checking in from his “world tour.”
Highlights From The 11th Annual Lake Cumberland Thunder Run
Wozencraft World Tour Stop No. 4: Enjoying A Hartwell Lake Hiccup
Wozencraft World Tour Stop No. 3: Scenes From The Jacksonville River Rally And Poker Run
Wozencraft World Tour Stop No. 2: Scenes From The Tickfaw 200
Wozencraft World Tour 2019 Kicks Off With Desert Storm