Event Coverage: Hartwell Lake Charity Run A Hidden Gem Revealed
As the public face of DCB Performance Boats and the man behind most of the Southern California company’s new-build deliveries, Tony Chiaramonte is more than a little familiar with marquee happenings such as the Desert Storm Poker Run, the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout and the Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run. He’s even heading to the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run next month.
So when it comes to go-fast boating events, he’s tough to impress.
Thanks to his hosts Scott (left) and Monica James and the charm of the event itself, Tony Cutsuries (right) of DCB Performance Boats is putting the Hartwell Lake Charity Run on his annual event rotation.
And yet after his first experience last weekend at the Hartwell Lake Charity Run—formerly the Hartwell Lake Poker Run—benefitting Meals On Wheels-Anderson, he’s ready to make the South Carolina event part of his annual rotation.
“It was 10 out of 10,” said Chiaramonte, who rode with Scott and Monica James of South Carolina in their DCB M33R catamaran called Coast To Coast. “It will be a yearly thing for me and DCB.”
Though the couple tackles several events each year in their 33-footer, they are understandably partial to the one on their home-water.
“Lake Hartwell is an enormous, clean body of water that runs all the way to Georgia,” said Scott James. “The event benefits a great cause, Meals On Wheels Anderson, and it is growing with better hardware every year.”
Among the high-end hardware in this year’s 121-boat mix was Mad Props, a DCB M37R catamaran owned by Greg Harris and Yvonne Aleman of South Florida. Harris and Aleman are on the poker-run circuit in a big way this year. They started with the Florida Powerboat Club Miami Boat Show Poker Run in February and since then have tackled the Performance Boat Center Spring Fun Run on the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri and the Kentucky-based Kuttawa Cannonball Run.
But the Hartwell Lake event may well end up being their favorite of the year.
“I have no idea how nobody knows about this event,” said Aleman. “We ran over 100 miles today on beautiful water.”
Added Harris, “The venue is spectacular and still being built. I can easily this growing exponentially and becoming like the Lake Lanier event was back in its big days.”
Initiated this year, the name change wasn’t the only new thing for the Hartwell Lake run, which celebrated its 13th anniversary and attracted 40-plus sponsors. Green Pond Landing, the venue referenced by Harris, was home-base for the event after having recently added some 200 feet of additional dock space.
Enjoy more images from the 2022 Hartwell Lake Charity Run.
Though the total amount of money raised for Meal On Wheels-Anderson is still being tallied, the Saturday night auction saw plenty of big-bidding action including that for a longboard-skateboard custom built by DCB.
Thanks to Scott and Monica James, the item fetched $5,200.
“It turns out the lady bidding against me was my wife,” Scott James said, then laughed. “It was pretty funny and ran up the price, but it was all for a great cause.”
One of the event’s primary backers and biggest boosters during the years, Todd Campbell said this year’s event might have been the best one yet. “It was a great, relaxed run with a family atmosphere,” said the South Carolinian, who will take his MTI V-57 with his wife, Debbie, on the MTI owners run to the Bahamas starting on Wednesday.
Laura Ashley, the executive director of Meals On Wheels-Anderson, has been with the Hartwell Lake happening since its inception. And she, too, sees continued growth for the event.
“We had great support from our locals boat owners and people who run the poker-run circuit,” she said. “They all said they are coming back and bringing their friends. It was fabulous.”
With waters in South Carolina and Georgia, Hartwell Lake is simply spectacular.