Boater fun run returns this weekend to support local people in need

Published 7:21 pm Monday, June 10, 2019

The Pamlico and Pungo rivers will be alive with powerboats this weekend, all in the name of a good local cause, as “Haulin’ Ass on the Pamlico” returns for its fifth-year running.

Started by brothers Chris Bowers and Brad Parham, the fun run will take participants from Washington to Bath to Belhaven to Blounts Creek on Saturday for a grand tour of Beaufort County’s waterways.

“We had 52 (boats) last year, and I think we’ll probably have 60-65 this year,” Bowers said.

At the heart of the event, Bowers says it’s all about supporting local people and local causes, all while sharing a day of fun with fellow boaters. Proceeds from this weekend will benefit two local women who are battling breast cancer. In years past, the event has supported area veterans, children fighting cancer and Angels N Camo, a nonprofit that takes disabled children hunting and fishing.

“Every penny we make goes to whatever cause we pick for the year,” Bowers said. “We don’t do any big organizations, because we don’t feel like the money goes where it needs to go. We always pick individuals every year for the money that we raise.”

Bowers says this sense of supporting local is also reflected in the businesses that help with the event. From the T-shirt printers and hotels that cater to participants to the Quarterdeck in Bath and Jack’s Neck Tavern in Belhaven, the event provides a nice boost for the local economy.

“Everything we do, we do to support the people and bring money into Beaufort County,” Bowers said. “We normally average 25-30 hotel rooms for the event for the two nights.”

The fun run kicks off Friday night with a party for participants at Bowers Performance and Custom Marine, located at 257 Herring Club Road in Washington. Registration is available on site, and the event includes a catered meal.

On Saturday morning, registration will be held at Iconic Marine on Whichards Beach Road from 8 to 10 a.m. before a captain’s meeting at 10:15 a.m. Afterward, the flotilla will cruise the Washington waterfront before starting out from Iconic Marine.

“We have full support from Iconic Marine,” Bowers said. “They’ve worked with us for all five years. They’re a really good sponsor.”

From there, the boats will head to Bath, doing a loop in the vicinity of Bath Creek and stopping off at the Quarterdeck Marina. Then it’s on to Belhaven for a meal at Jack’s Neck Tavern, before linking up for a raft-up in Blounts Creek, if the conditions allow.

The day rounds out with a catered meal at Iconic Marine, complete with a raffle and auction, the proceeds of which will also be used to benefit the two women in need. The cost to participate is $25 per person, with shirts available for $20 each. Lunch at Jack’s Neck Tavern is $15 per person with a wristband purchased during registration. Tips are encouraged.

“Anyone can come,” Bowers said. “There’s no speed limit. There are going to be some fast boats here, but there are also going to be some regular boats here. It’s not about having the fastest boat — it’s about raising money for a good cause.”