The Florida Powerboat Clubs 2015 Key West Poker Run Thursday departure lunch stop was one for the record books. Lunch at Gilbert’ was a huge success this year as we have over 185 registered boats attending the Key West 2015 Poker Run. Skaters, Cigarettes, Sunsation, DCB and every other type of performance water craft imaginable crowded the docks as you could hear the roar of unlimited power make its way over the water to the people having lunch under the canopies. Extended out into the channel by 7 or 8 boats the docks were lined to capacity with spectators trying to glimpse of their favorite craft or simply show up their own new badass boat.

After a little over an hour traveling from Miami we finally reached the channel leading to GIlbert’s resort where the rest of the boats had already tied up and lunch festivities were in full swing. As we made our way to the end of the docks to tie up the sound of live music, engines, and lively boaters made the short few minutes it took to tie up feel like an eternity. We all jumped off the boat and made a quick dash to the shade of the resort canopy to find water and food as the day was really starting to heat up in full contact with the tropical sun. It was great to see many of the usual boaters we’ve had the privilege of making this trip with in previous years, but it was also amazing to see the amount of new boaters and guests, alluding to the beginning of a resurgence for powerboating and poker runs in general. All this made for a truly one of a kind experience which we are already looking forward to next year.

The weather was absolutely perfect as lunch was served, and water was consumed by the gallons, making for an extremely fun and relaxed atmosphere. Live music was also blasting great cover songs and really made it a one of a kind day that will surely be looked forward to greatly when next year’s Poker Run rolls around.

Once lunch was over and people were starting to slip into food comas, many began heading back to their boats to shove off and make the last, longer leg of the journey to Key West. Again, as back in the harbor, the docks came to life with the unmistakable roar of high performance powerboats, from dual outboards to quad inboards, drowning out any other sounds. It was music to the hears of any performance junkie. Boat after boat took off towards Key West, settling in for the journey with reasonable cruising speeds, making sure to skirt the ominous rain clouds floating over the keys. After a couple hours of weaving in and out of islands and heading under bridges here and there we finally made it to Key West. When pulling into Key West Bight Marina it was easy to see the presence of performance boats sprinkled here and there in berths alongside various yachts and fishing boats. Getting off the boat one could see the Conch Republic Seafood Company already teeming with people, foreshadowing the weekend’s festivities to come.

It’s hard to imagine a better place to find such great boaters and amazing boats all in one place, and we can’t wait to see everyone again next year!

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