Commentary: Road Hosts And Gratitude

Commentary: Road Hosts And Gratitude

While much of the fleet was still arriving yesterday for the annual Lake Cumberland Thunder Run in Kentucky, the fleet at the first Big Thunder Marine-produced Cigarette Racing Team Rendezvous was on the water and moving at Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri. By the time participants at both events were finishing their respective days, the welcome party for the second-year Bink’s Fun Run for Addiction Awareness on North Carolina’s Lake Norman was just starting to roll.

Chris Fisher, Christy Foote and the author explored Lake Norman yesterday in advance of today’s Bink’s Run For Addiction Awareness on the North Carolina waterway.

The Hartwell Lake Charity Run happened last weekend in South Carolina, the Kuttawa Cannonball Run in Kentucky the weekend before that.

Note today’s date, June 15. The official first day of summer is five days from now and the go-fast boating season is already roaring. Still, the number of events so far in the past four weeks is not unusual.

Chris Fisher won’t go anywhere without his back-up driver.

But it is amazing, at least for this reporter who made it to the Kuttawa and Hartwell happenings and is now sitting in the cabin of Bob Shutter’s 28-foot Axopar “bracelet boat” in North Carolina as we head to the Bink’s run lunch stop.

This is my second trip to the pretty waterway. The first was for the fall 2023 wedding of BRP Marine Custom principal Chad Shutter and then Ashley Gerthoffer, now Ashley Shutter, who celebrated her 30th birthday this week. Chad’s parents, Bob and Bonnie, who own Boat Repairs Plus, have hosted me this weekend in the peaceful waterfront home they have owned for 24 years since moving to North Carolina from Upstate New York.

Ashley Shutter represented BRP Marine Custom, as well as Good Boy Vodka at last night’s welcome celebration.

Yesterday, Chris Fisher and Christy Foote of Vermont took me on a tour of the lake in their DCB Performance Marine M37R Widebody catamaran. As none of us knows this lake, we had no real agenda or destination, which could be the best way to experience a new waterway. Like Bob and Bonnie Shutter this weekend and fellow DCB M37R cat owners Kiran and Jessica Pinisetti last weekend, they are the most gracious of hosts. I will miss them when I say goodbye tomorrow, bound from Charlotte to Chicago and then next weekend’s Bago Big Bet event in Oshkosh, Wis.

This is road life for a reporter during this summer of go-fast boating. And thanks to his gracious hosts who open their homes and their boats—including one houseboat owned by Kuttawa backers Donnie McLeod  as if he is blood-family, it is a beautiful remarkable.


Thanks to Bob and Bonnie Shutter, this reporter’s fun is just getting started.

Related stories
Cigarette Owner Rendezvous Sees Big Turnout Celebrating Brand’s 55th Anniversary
Lake Hartwell Charity Run Turns 15 In Style
The Incredible Cask Of Kinley Clapp And The Kuttawa Cannonball 
MTI Principals Heading To Inaugural Bago Big Bet



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