On October 20th and 21st the Rock the Docks event, hosted by Swoop Motorsports and RiverWhips took place at the world famous Nautical Beachfront Resort. This land based boating event was put on as a benefit for the West Arizona Humane Society (WAHS) and featured a Friday lunch run with an evening bikini contest as well as a Saturday banquet with a "Miami style" dock party immediately following. A midway was set up near the convention hall to display some on and off water hardware, with another smaller midway set up near the cover for additional sponsors and of course the WAHS. Charity boat rides were also available in either the Dial 911 388 Skater or the Bananas M35 wide body DCB. Both boats capable of running in the upper 100?s with ease.
Unable to attend any of the Friday activities, I made it to the Nautical Resort on Saturday afternoon. As usual there were a number of beautiful boats beached over in the cove. A couple nice Eliminators and always an eye catcher a Vector.
WAHS was in full gear pushing their puppy dope. Good tempered dogs, both young and old were on hand for adoption. By Saturday afternoon they had been able to find homes for six dogs. A great day for both the adopted dogs and their respective new owners!
Strolling the docks there was a pleasing cross section of boats. From a 21' Bahner Jet boat with a Boostpower Blower motor to a DCB M41 with twin Mercury Racing 1350?s. Boat owners were friendly and the mood was light. I had the opportunity to eavesdrop on a Q&A between a small flock of snowbirds and a boat owner. The owner was patient, polite and very informative, detailing the nature of the event and specific applications of a "crazy boat like this".
A couple HTMs were in attendance. The 30' Huntress and this 24? with a very clean set up, White Lightning.
Of course there had to be DCB's. This wide body M35 with twin 1350?s is amazing. Though with the super sanitary digital dash layout, I have to question the use of analog speedometers in the seat backs.
More than a few sets of outboards made a showing. Two sets hanging off the back of tritoons. The Lick This boat and a really nice 26' Premiere. Even a set of triplets mated to an F29. The blue and white M29 is just plain badass!
After walking the docks for a while I thought I'd get out of the wind and grab a drink. The restaurant is clean and the service was good. I chatted with the staff a bit before heading up to the banquet and auction being held in the convention center. The room was packed, the food was fair and the mood still light. After dinner there was a benefit auction held for WAHS. I understand that all said and done, at the close of the event there was almost $50k raised and ten dogs adopted to new homes. Way to go Swoop and Whips!
While dinner was being eaten and money being raised the Speedboat Magazine crew went to work setting up the lighting and sound system for the dock party happening just after dinner. Around 8pm the docks began to fill and the boat lighting began to glow. At 8:30 Travis from Swoop welcomed everyone and reminded all to be safe while on the docks. He then introduced a country music artist whose name was garbled by sound system feedback, to kick off the party with our National Anthem. The artist made the comment that if anyone decided to take a knee while he gave his rendition "You'd better be wearing a life jacket". This got a rousing response from the crowd. And although the wind was bad and the sound system worse a heartfelt performance was given and it was definitely appreciated by all.
I hung around until 10pm or so. Some of the group had thinned out but it was clear this was a party that was going to go on for a while. I expect the event certainly went off the way it was planned with great success providing homes to dogs in need and raising funds to be used to help hundreds more animals in need.
Photos: Jason Miller
Story: Jason Miller