Local Motion At Waves And Wheels End-Of-Summer Fun Run – Speed on the Water
The public face of Big Thunder Marine at the Lake of the Ozarks when it comes to the multi-location dealership’s high-performance powerboat brands, Ed Champion started yesterday morning running a Fountain 34 Thunder Cat in the Ninth Annual Prenger Fall Fun Run. He even enjoyed breakfast with the group, which raises money for victims of domestic abuse.
Headed to the XINSURANCE Clearwater ‘Nationals’ in Southwest Florida next weekend, Bill Allen ran his Nor-Tech 390 Sport center console in the Waves And Wheels event. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.
For lunch, Champion and his passengers Michelle Curry and Don Campbell joined the seventh annual Boardwalk At Waves And Wheels End-Of-Summer Fun on the Central Missouri waterway at the behest of his friend Justin Wagner, the principle of the Osage Beach, Mo., company.
“I was home by 4 p.m., “ Champion said, then laughed. “But I was on my own for dinner.”
But the longtime Big Thunder Marine salesman wasn’t the only well-known local figure to turn out for Wagner’s event. Super Stock-class world champion Bill Allen of Team Allen Lawncare and Landscaping and friends joined the six-boat fleet in his Nor-Tech 390 Sport center console.
For Big Thunder Marine’s Ed Champion and company in a Fountain 34 Thunder Cat, yesterday was a two-event day.
“Great time, great event,” he said. “I tagged along with Michael and Andy from Go Fast Boat Service.”
Yesterday’s Waves And Wheels event-fleet also included customers Brad Holzhauer in his 48-foot MTI catamaran, Jared Murray in his 47 Fountain Lightning and Grant Medely in his 36 Gladiator from Cigarette Racing Team. The smaller-than-usual group left Waves And Wheels headquarters in the morning and ran directly to Big Dick’s Halfway Inn and stayed there until the early afternoon. From there participants headed to Lazy Gators for a pool party.
“Depending on weather, the End-Of-Summer Fun Run always has five to 20-ish boats,” said Wagner. “It was a little cool and raining at the beginning of the day so we only ended up having six boats. But it’s never a disappointment for me when it’s a smaller group. It’s really more personable.
“No one pushed their boat very hard—I personally never ran over 4,700 rpm—and we just stayed together as a group,” he continued. “With a smaller group, each boat also gets a lot more photo helicopter time and I like that.
Enjoy more images from the seventh annual Waves And Wheels happening.
Another Lake of the Ozarks local, helicopter pilot Tom Cline flew speedonthewater.com contributing photographer Jeff Helmkamp to capture the day’s action. Wagner praised both the pilot and the shooter for their work. He also credited Waves and Wheels marketing administrator/marketing specialist Kelly Smith and Bluave Audio warehouse and assembly manager Damian Ivanoski for carrying much of the organizational load.
The decidedly relaxed Waves And Wheels End-Of-Summer Fun Run is perhaps Wagner’s favorite happening at the lake. That’s no surprise given his involvement as its sponsor, but the appeal of the event runs much deeper for the company founder.
“It’s the opportunity to visit with everyone at the stops,” he explained. “It’s such a laidback, easy event and you’re not exhausted by the end of the day.
“I could literally do this one once a month,” he added. “It’s what a boating event should be, just fun and an excuse to go boating with friends.”
Justin Wagner’s 50-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran was among the attention-grabbing entries in yesterday’s Boardwalk At Waves And Wheels End-Of-Summer Fun.
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