This was the 25th Year for the Emerald Coast Poker Run and the 25th Anniversary for the Florida Powerboat Club. I have attended this great event for the past 10 years and time sure does fly as I have seen the event go from well over 200 boats down to only a few and now it’s back up over 200. One thing for sure is that the emerald Coat Poker Run will continue on and could possible grow to be even bigger than we have ever imagined.
Florida Powerboat Club President Mr. Stu Jones said he event was really good and now they have a good problem to fix. How do you manage an event that has grown so big and has such a wide variety of boats. With the introduction of the Ruby class this Coast Guard permitted event has everything from Personal Water Craft all to Catamarans cable of speeds reaching beyond 170 MPH.
In order to have a great event Stu is proposing to break the event up to cover a two week Boat Week celebration in Destin. The Ruby class would go one week ahead of the FPC Performance Boat Class featuring all the higher performance boats and give them a chance to run and enjoy the Emerald Coast separately. Stu has already spoken to the local sponsors and has all the support to break the event up to keep is safer and allow each class to grow and spread the event out over back to back weekends which will bring greater revenue to the area.
FPC will create a more upscale event for all the Florida Powerboat Club Members who travel from far and away to come to the area, many Texas and Florida teams as well as guys like Cass Tucker who trailered his 353 Formula almost 1000 miles from Virginia to go boating along with Emerald Coast with the Florida Powerboat Club! The FPC members would then have the opportunity to enjoy a first class event and it will raise additional money for local charities.
This year the Florida Powerboat Club Sponsors had very strong representation in the Performance Center Console Class with Nor-Tech Powerboats bringing two 39 footers, Deep Impact brought their quad powered 360 Sport and Midnight Express was on hand as well with a new 39. Of course I was driving the 41 CIGARETTE with Mercury 1100 to round out the Performance Center Console Class.
Always a huge charity event this year the expected final amount raised will be around $140K and a big congratulations to Florida Powerboat Club Members Brad Hancock and Eileen Fisher who both finished first at their respective final tables. Brad Hancock won the Ford F150 after he bought in to the final table at $12.5K and Eileen won the final hand at the Ruby table taking home a brand new Harley Davidson 750 Street. Congratulations to all!