In the heart of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, a small city with a big boating spirit, an electrifying event took place that would leave boating enthusiasts and families alike awe-inspired. The 2023 Mercury Racing Midwest Challenge block party on a Friday night was a mix of adrenaline, community, and the thrill of racing boats that sent waves of excitement throughout the city.
The day began with a drive to Sheboygan, setting the stage for an unforgettable experience. The Mercury Racing Midwest Challenge promised a dynamic showcase of racing boats. Upon arrival, the marina was bustling with activity, and the rain had just subsided, allowing the racing boat teams to get cleaned up for the show.
Navigating through the marina, a momentary pause from a call out of Hey WI led to the recognition of my friend, Hot Toddy, who told me the way to my friend Chris's boat. Moving up the parking lot to the waterfront offered a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan and a beautiful rainbow. The lighthouse pier beckoned with the allure of its beauty and the chance to get some photos of the race course and the hope of catching a boat testing on the lake.
Upon reaching the lakefront pier, the realization of this incredible spectacle grew as the picturesque lake stretched before my eyes. The anticipation built, and a distant silhouette of a boat rooster tail came into focus, thinking I was going to get lucky and ketch a boat testing. I zoomed in and noticed the boat immediately. Not a race boat but a great friend of mine from the Poker Run events. It was Jeff and his beautiful Outerlimits. I thought it was pretty amazing timing that I was there as he was pulling into the marina. So cool to get a couple of shots of him coming in.
Back to the Marina to check out Chris's slip and his amazing Silverton boat. I walked up the pier and heard the yell again WI! There were about 10 of my friends hanging out on Chris's boat. So much fun hanging out in this great atmosphere with some amazing friends. We hung out for about 20 minutes and it was time to get to the Block Party. We walked up the hill into town. A stroll through the vibrant streets of Sheboygan led to the heart of the block party. The atmosphere was charged with energy, and the racing boats were lined up along the streets, drawing in families and enthusiasts alike.
The scene was a feast for the senses, with food trucks serving delicious treats, merchandise trailers showcasing boating treasures, and a stage where live music added to the festive vibe. Families mingled with drivers, children explored the cockpits of the boats, and the sense of community was undeniable. It was a sight to behold - a celebration that united people from all walks of life, connected by a shared passion for boating and the thrill of boat racing.
In the midst of the crowd, familiar faces emerged once again. Andrea from Mercury Racing was there, taking care of business and talking with the crowd and boating teams. I got a quick chance to talk with her and congratulate her and Mercury on such an amazing event. As well as thank them for sponsoring the Bago Barge and Beach Bash. I also ran into so many boating friends I know from the poker runs as well as out at Striech's. So cool to see all of these amazing boaters I get to call friends.
The streets were alive with laughter, chatter, and the hum of excitement. It was a night that showcased the very best of boating and community. The Mercury Racing Midwest Challenge block party had transformed Sheboygan into a haven of excitement and boating friendship, and as the night drew to a close, the promise of the racing event itself added to the anticipation.
Everyone was having fun and talking about their excitement for the racing event in the morning. The block party was a testament to the power of shared passion, the thrill of speed, and the unity that boating can bring to a community.
I can't say it enough. It is amazing that Mercury Racing has brought this event to Wisconsin. Normally these events are on the other side of the country for us Wisco boaters. I am super excited to head to the water this morning and get photos of these powerhouse boats tearing up the lake. More soon folks!
I have a lot of pictures for you to check out as well as a video slideshow of all the photos or you can see all the pictures on the Wiparty Photo Gallery.