“Strong numbers” of participants have committed to joining the Florida Powerboat Club’s 26th Annual Key West Offshore Poker Run set for Nov. 6-12, according to the group’s leader, Stu Jones.
“After 26 years, I think we finally have a good event,” Jones deadpanned at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. “But, seriously, it really has come along way, and we’re happy to report that the numbers are about to reach 200 registered boats and about 220 teams. We’ve got 192 as of yesterday, and I think there are at least eight guys walking around the boat show right now who tell me they’re going to sign up.”
Jones says that every major manufacturer will be represented on this run, including catamarans, performance vee bottoms and luxury center consoles models. “We’ve pretty much covered all the bases here,” Jones says. “And between the in-water show at the Conch Republic Seafood Company and the on-land display, which we call the Poker Run Village, it’s going to be like going to a performance boat show, where everybody who matters is there. You’re going to see the best and the latest of all performance products that are out there.”
Mercury Racing returns as FPC’s presenting sponsor; meanwhile, Deep Impact Powerboats has continued its sponsorship of the event, along with Cigarette Racing. “It’s exciting, because my new boat—a restoration of a 2000 38’ Cigarette Top Gun we’re calling the Project 1080 HP—is nearing its completion in the next couple of days. A partnership with Mercury Racing, the project boat, a non-step straight bottom hull, will be on display in Key West at the Cigarette Racing booth, along with the first Cigarette ever built in 1972.”
Also on display at Poker Run Village:
- Donzi and Fountain of the Iconic Marine Group are back on board as sponsors of the poker run after many years away, and will be displaying boats.
- Nor-Tech is planning to have a “pretty impressive” display, according to Jones.
- Concept Boats, a manufacturer new to the FPC fray, will show off its new 39 center console model.
- Marine dealership Marine Unlimited Sales of Toms River, NJ, will be representing the Deland, FL-based Mystic Powerboats.
- Venore, TN-based HCB Yachts (formerly HydraSports Custom Boats) will display the world’s largest center console, the 65′ Estrella.
- Performance Boat Center of Lake Osage, MO, will have several boats on display, including the new Sunsation 40CCX.
Used car dealership OffleaseOnly will once again provide the grand prize to the poker run winner: a 2018 Chevy Silverado pickup truck.