By Bob Veith.

2018 marked the 10th Anniversary of Powerboating for a Cure, and to use the word “Perfect” to the describe the event would almost be an understatement.  This year 71 Boats and 240 Drivers and Riders turned out to participate in the event.

Registration opened Thursday evening, at the Sheraton Waterside Hotel. The Captains checked-in, received their Boat Number, Captain’s Bag, and were welcomed by a smiling crew of volunteers that showed them around the welcome area, which included a huge silent auction.

Friday morning arrived with 90-degree temps, blue skies, a slight breeze, and perfect water for a 45 minute “Fun Run” up to Bennett’s Creek Marina, for an afternoon of cheeseburgers, hot dogs and brats hot off the charcoal grill, along with a variety of frozen drinks to be enjoyed poolside with the swim-up bar.  40 Boats, 130 Participants, and a helicopter in the sky was all part of the first days’ festivities.

That evening, teams would take part in an Italian feast from Ynot Italian Restaurant, featuring a variety of pasta’s, side dishes and an assortment of Gelato for dessert.  The rest of the evening was shared in the Waterside Area where the Marina hosted a dock party and the Waterside District brought in an LA Cover Band.

Saturday morning was a weather repeat of Friday.  90 degrees, a slight breeze, fast water, and blue skies.  The participants enjoyed a breakfast buffet, followed by a Drivers Meeting, which emphasized safety.

Then it was off to the marina and the boats to the milling area, watching and waiting for the sight of the helicopter as each of teams prepared themselves for a day that Jon Bucenell in his 39’ Cigarette Top Gun “Blue Smoke” summarized as “EPIC”.

The Teams patiently awaited the arrival of the Helicopter for the two starts.  The course combines the Elizabeth River and James River with the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  All in all, it spans 148 nautical miles.  From Waterside Marina, down the Elizabeth River, pass the U.S. Navy fleet of Aircraft Carriers and their support groups, up the James River to Leeward Municipal Marina, then to Gatling Point, and finally stopping for Lunch at the Blue Water Yacht & Marina with the Surf Rider Restaurant, where the teams were met by crews serving cheeseburgers, hot dogs and fish tacos with all the fixings and cold drinks. Then there was time for a refreshing dip in the marina pool.

Next, it was Chuck Guthrie and John Ainslie back in the air as the boats ready for a run through the lower Chesapeake Bay and down the Atlantic Ocean. At the same time, the Virginia Beach tourists were treated to a number of boats traveling well over 100 mph. The Helicopter team was capturing all of it on video and photo.

Finally back at Waterside Marina, where the boat teams were greeted by waitresses from Mission BBQ, serving ahi tuna, steamed shrimp, and lollipop lamb chops.  The same folks (Mission BBQ) prepared a BBQ and Brisket feast, with all the trimmings.

Following dinner, the Awards Banquet recognized the Sponsors, and a special tribute to Bill Rippel, a Founding Board Member who past away during the year.

The awards were:

  • Longest Tow Dr. Mike Jenssen  (towed from Colorado)
  • 5th Place ($250)             Dr. Mike Jenssen         (Outerlimits – “Watch Your Back”)
  • 4th Place ($500)             Bryan Martin               (Nortec – “Cosmic Oasis”)
  • 3rd Place ($500)             Jon Bucenell                (Cigarette – “Blue Smoke”)
  • 2nd Place ($750)             Beth Cully                    (Cigarette – “Hammertime”)
  • 1st Place ($1500)           Rusty Maness              (Mako – “Atlantic Bay Mortgage”)
  • “Bill Rippel Best looking Boat Award” Bobby Smith   (Scarab – “Fuelish Pleasure”)
  • All of the Winners donated 100% of the prize winnings back to the Charities!

The last two checks were presented to the Charities:

  • Robert Lee, Chairman Associated General Contractors $5,000 for Scholarships
  • Sharon Laderberg, Exec Dir of Susan G. Komen $39,800 for Breast Cancer

We are ready to begin planning the event for 2019, explained Event Chairman, Bob Veith. The Mid Atlantic PowerBoat Association steering committee celebrated their 10th birthday with their biggest & best party to date!

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