WHEATLAND (CBS13) — Big Wake Weekend starts in Wheatland on Saturday with a promoter who is out on bail for allegedly writing bad checks when he was the promoter for last year’s event.
Nobody has more riding on this weekend’s event in Wheatland than Bob Richards.
The last time CBS13 spoke to Richards, he was fresh out on bail and admitted to our cameras that he wrote bad checks after attendance at the 2013 Big Wake Weekend in Folsom fell far short of expectations.
Richards was arrested and charged with defrauding vendors. And now?
“No offense to the media and the folks prosecuting me, but they had this story pretty sideways,” he said. “There’s not a lot of people to pay back.”
In April, Richards told CBS13 he owed $200,000 to hydroplane racing league H1 Unlimited. He hoped to pay them back with proceeds from this year’s event in Wheatland.
He now calls it a “disagreement between two parties.”
Richards seems pretty confident that this year’s event will succeed. One of the main reasons is it has a very different look than last year’s event in Folsom.
Gone is H1 Unlimited. Richards describes this as more of a grassroots event at Camp Far West in Wheatland.
Cliff Huey, the director of entertainment, says he’s not concerned about not being paid.
“I trust Bob, and you know I’ve got my faith in him and we’ll see what happens,” he said. “But I’m not worried.”
The weekend is big for those hoping hydroplane racing sticks in Northern California.
“We want to see it come back,” said boater Mike Davis.
Another boater who wouldn’t go on camera says the event is about much more than the promoter he called Bad Check Bob.
The event runs from 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.