FPC’s Stu Jones Plans Alabama Poker Run, Worldwide Powerboat Club Franchises

FPC’s Stu Jones Plans Alabama Poker Run, Worldwide Powerboat Club Franchises

Stu Jones (inset) and his new Project 1080 Cigarette Top Gun, powered by Mercury Racing 540s.

Stu Jones, president of the Florida Powerboat Club, is about to launch a new five-day poker run event in Orange Beach, AL, and is planning to create a new club that will mirror the structure of his Florida group. The Alabama Powerboat Club, as it will be called, will kick off with back-to-back poker runs comprising May 29 to June 2, Jones told Powerboat Nation.

“The popularity of the Friday Fun Run has really grown,” Jones said, “and I thought we could take this to the next level and make it a poker run format.”

Jones explained that Orange Beach, AL, offers so many waterways with waterfront locations that “to me it would be unfortunate not to give some of these places an opportunity to be involved in the event.” Jones said he envisioned a poker run that would kick off on Friday with a westbound “multiple checkpoint poker run,” followed by a similar run on Saturday headed east. “People will get an opportunity to do back-to-back poker runs,” he said, “and we’re managing the fuel mileage sensibly—each run would encompass about 90 miles. Most people can do it on the fuel they have, because each will be a zero fuel stop run. When they come back to the marina at night, they can top up.”

If participants only wish to do one run, Jones said, that will be up to them. However, one fee will entitle them to do both events.

Meanwhile, Jones is actively scouting for a person to fill the role of Alabama Powerboat Club President—a position that will mirror his duties in Florida. “We’re looking for a boater who is an Alabama resident,” Jones said. “We’re going to hand him this event, as well as the tools he’ll need to make the organization a total success. This person will start with four events a year, with a relatively small membership, and grow it from there.”

But Jones isn’t stopping with Alabama. It’s part of his long-range branding plan that will eventually lead to a global organization of powerboat clubs and events, that connects organizers and powerboaters on every continent.

“It’s being branded as the World Powerboat Club, which will be the ‘mothership’ to these individual club operators—whether it’s US-based in Texas, New York, Maryland or Alabama…or virtually any nation that has a base of powerboat owners and events,” he said. “We already have an ambassador-like program coming together in over two dozen countries worldwide.” This organization will be committed to overseeing and assisting organizers with their events, helping them with marketing, safety management and planning.

“Each of these ambassadors will be the president of their own club, and can make it a part-time enterprise or full-time gig, as I have for almost thirty years here in Florida,” Jones added.

Powerboat Nation will stay in tune with Jones and these ongoing growth plans, along with the Orange Beach Powerboat Week, which is being hosted at The Wharf, a popular entertainment venue with a full-service marina, dining, and on-property lodging.

For more information and registration details, visit flpowerboat.com or call the FPC Pompano Beach office at (954) 545-1414.