Kuttawa Cannonball Run Day 1—Sticks And Groans

Kuttawa Cannonball Run Day 1—Sticks And Groans

The docks at Kuttawa Harbor usually buzz with excitement on the first day of the annual Kuttawa Cannonball Run in Kentucky. The traditional lunch run to Prizer Point and the raft-up that follows deliver a good time that gets everyone amped for the next day’s 120-mile roundtrip trek on Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake for lunch at the Breakers Marina in Tennessee.

Stephen Miles, one of the organizers of the Kuttawa Cannonball Run, painted this 30-foot Baja for a local client. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

But the vibe at the docks today was more anxious than excited—more concerned than eager—than it’s been in the past seven years. The violent weather that plagued this part of Kentucky last Sunday flushed drive-crunching debris out of the wooded shoreline and into both waterways.

That makes even the most diehard performance boat owners understandably reluctant to put their rides in the water. Propellers, skegs and entire lower units are not inexpensive to repair, much less replace. Plus, no one wants to enter the summer boating season with a boat in need of repairs.

Repeat event participants Justin and Melissa Snook came brought their stunning 42-foot Fountain to the run.

Registration currently stands at 160-plus boats and more will be signed up tomorrow morning for the eighth annual event. But today’s lunch run was smaller than usual and the culprit was debris in the water.

“Absolutely, a lot of guys didn’t put their boats in the water today because they heard about the debris,” said Jeff Hoefling, who shares organizing duties for the event with Terry Martin and Stephen Miles. “But all things considered, we had a decent turnout. I’d say there were 80-plus boats at Prizer Point.”





Though it wasn’t as large as the 2023 version, today’s raft-off was a solid good time for everyone involved.

A big fan of the Kuttawa happening who registered long ago, Alabama’s Mike Goldbaugh—who celebrated his birthday today—opted out for both days. Goldbaugh had hoped to run his Skater Powerboats 388 Pure Platinum-series catamaran but decided against it.

“I shipped my boat off to Hartwell Lake Poker Run next weekend,” he explained. “I did not want to chance it with the debris in the water.”

Thomas Anselmi, who hauled his Donzi Marine 38 ZRC from New Jersey with his longtime Garden State friend Bob Christie, made the same call.

“We are not running,” said Christie as Anselmi hooked the immaculate 38-footer to its trailer. “Tommy spent $200,000 to rebuild his boat. He does not want to risk losing his summer in New Jersey.”

And the challenges for this year’s event, which raises money for several local charities in Lyon County, are just beginning. Steady rain and strong winds are in tomorrow’s weather forecast.












Enjoy more images ffrom today’s lunch run.

At present, the organizers have no choice but to remain optimistic and hope the stormy weather doesn’t materialize. Similar forecast in the early years of the event turned out to be a non-event.

“Maybe we’ll do an ‘anti-rain’ dance,” Miles said, then chucked. “But you know, what makes this poker run cool is the people and the vibe is cool. Everybody gets along and no one is better than anyone else here.

“Even if we have to stay on the docks and move the celebration up to Hu-B’s, we’ll make the best of it,” he added. “It will still be a great time.”

To be continued.

Despite a lower boat count than that of the previous year, the 2023 Kuttawa Cannonball Run raft-up provided a great post-lunch-run experience.

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Source: https://www.speedonthewater.com/kuttawa-cannonball-run-day-1-sticks-and-groans/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kuttawa-cannonball-run-day-1-sticks-and-groans


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