Last Sunday, Keith Holmes, the throttleman and owner of the 40’ Skater, American Ethanol/Cat Can Do, died after a crash at the Offshore Powerboat Association’s St. Clair River Classic event in St. Clair, Mich.
Holmes was racing in the Extreme class with driver Jamie Sartin when his boat appeared to have collided with the 44’ Victory catamaran, Miss GEICO, which is throttled by Scott Begovich and driven by Marc Granet. The two boats were racing at the north end of the course and the competition was immediately black-flagged after the incident. Sartin was also taken to the hospital and was reported to be in critical condition.
“My wife Marilyn and I were extremely saddened to hear of Keith’s tragedy,” said Bill Taylor, president and publisher of Poker Runs America. “We have known him since the inception of the poker-run world on the Great Lakes.”
Holmes also owned CK Motorsports, a high-performance marine service business in Nunica, Mich. He is a multi-time world and national champion in offshore racing and is known as a someone who was always willing to help a fellow boater.
“Keith was a very keen performance-minded individual and had a passion for high speed, from snowmobile racing in the 1980s, later moving on to the big power of poker runs and then the offshore racing world,” said Taylor. “He was a true Canadian born and raised in Ontario and later moving to the U.S. for his career in racing. He was best known on the poker run circuit for his famous Skater catamaran, Hasta la Vista, built by Peter Hledin, another Canadian, at Skater Powerboats.”
Taylor continued, “Keith will be thoroughly missed in the offices at Poker Runs America and by the offshore racing world.”