The first event in Lakewood Ranch for Thunder by the Bay was a blast.
Especially for the four-man team representing Vanessa Fine Jewelry, which won the Sporting Clays Tournament Thursday at the Ancient Oak Gun Club in Lakewood Ranch. Thunder by the Bay moved from Sarasota to Lakewood Ranch for its 19th run this year.
Don Baugh, Jon Mast, Darrell Turner and Ed Angrisani hit the most clay targets to win the overall competition.
Robin Uihlein, Brenda Uihlein, Roger Redman and Gene Henshaw placed second representing Running U while John Cannon, Christopher Amadio, John Miller and Rick Cripe were third for Landmark Services.
Individual winners were Angrisani (Longbird winner), Brenda Uihlein (Highest Overall Lady) and Jim Gentz (Highest Overall).
Lucy Nicandri, the executive director for Suncoast Charities for Children, said the amount raised by the event was not yet available.
For the complete Thunder by the Bay event schedule, go to thunderbythebay.org. The main event, including live music, is Saturday and Sunday at the Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch. Although rain is in the forecast for Saturday, Nacandri said a huge circus tent has been set up at Premier and noted the rain wasn't supposed to affect the area in the afternoon and evening.
Scott Kessler, the general manager for Manatee River Harley-Davidson, a longtime sponsor of the event, said rain could affect the turnout on Saturday, but also noted anticipated temperatures in the 50s on Sunday with clear skies won't deter those who love the festival.
"One year downtown (Sarasota) it was 40 degrees, and once the sun came out, we filled downtown," Kessler said. "We will have twice the amount of vendors of last year and this is not just a motorcycle event, it is for charity."
Kessler said the first year in Lakewood Ranch for the festival will be different, however, he said if everyone supporting the charity keeps an open mind, the event will be "historical."