Skater At 50—Peter Hledin In 2000

Skater At 50—Peter Hledin In 2000

Still in college in early 2000, New Jersey’s Chris LaMorte faced a tough choice. He could either take a final or make a quick field trip to Douglas, Mich., to visit Skater Powerboats. LaMorte opted to stay put and take the test, a wise choice by the standards of the average man or woman on the street.

Neither Sterling Performance founder Mike D’Anniballe, left, and former offshore racer Pat Patel, right, were spared their friend Peter Hledin’s barbs during an unforgettable visit to Skater in early 2000. Photos by Tom Newbyy/Powerboat Magazine

But as it happened, the Skater field-trip and college final were set for the same day that Powerboat magazine had sent a reporter and a photographer to Douglas to interview Peter Hledin—the owner and founder of the company—for a story.

LaMorte, who is 48 years old, owns a 36-foot Skater cat and knows as much about the brand as anyone other than Hledin, still regrets his decision.

“I was supposed to go that day,” LaMorte said, then laughed. “I should have blown off the final and gone.

“I really got into (Skaters) when my good family friend bought one in 2000 to go boat racing,” he continued. “I knew about them before that but I really starting paying more and more attention to them after that.”

Click the link above to download the pdf of the original Powerboat magazine article.

So passionate is LaMorte about Skater that he actually kept a copy of the Powerboat story that came out of the trip he missed. It’s one of his more bittersweet pieces of Skater memorabilia, perhaps because it captured Hledin in his finest wise-cracking, smart-assing and typically friend-abusing form.

And until LaMorte sent it to me earlier this week, I forgot I’d even written it. Now, 24 years later, here’s your chance to read it.

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