The weather held with warm temperatures and sunny skies as over 800 poker runners from across the United States, Canada and Europe enjoyed a spectacular 22nd Annual Mercury Racing sponsored Key West Poker Run. Only a handful of boaters leaving Miami on the Wednesday morning departure experienced a light sprinkle of rain, but after the first poker card at Grove Harbour Marina, the skies cleared and it was smooth cruising through the scenic Florida Keys.
The Thursday run was incident free, with the exception of the 50′ Statement Passion Cat piloted by owner Todd Werner, which caught fire in the Upper Keys as a result of an overheated turbine engine, sending its crew overboard to the safety of other poker run boats. Sadly for Todd and partner Nick Buis, it was the last run for this stylish high-speed cat that took center stage at every poker run it attended.
In Key West the energy was powerful, as thousands of spirited poker runners, powerboat enthusiasts and offshore race fans invaded the Key West Poker Run Village at the Conch Republic Seafood Company Thursday through Sunday. Visitors socialized for countless hours and wandered through restaurants, bars, shops and boutiques in the vibrant Old Town district along Duval St. Having fun is never a problem on the Key West Poker Run, and the 2014 edition was one party after another.
The Saturday Fun Run saw over 200 powerboats afloat in the Key West Harbor and out towards the Mule Keys…including Boca Grande, where many lined the sandy beach or took anchorage to enjoy the day. Special thanks to the US National Refuge officials, for spelling out the ground rules to FPC participants well in advance, so that this popular destination could be enjoyed by many, without impacting the nesting birds and natural environment.
Poker Run Awards parties including the Friday Sponsor Appreciation Night, where feature sponsors were recognized, and Saturday night, when thousands of poker cards were played out and the lucky teams took home fabulous sponsored prizes. Congratulations to all the winners!
1st Place: Bill Pater- Michigan- 38 Profile
Won the Grand Prize OffleaseOnly 2014 Ford Mustang Convertible!
2nd Place: Greg & Brenda McCauley-Missouri- MTI SV42
Awarded a Garmin 5208 Chartplotter from Superior Communications, GoGPS tracking unit, OceanLed lights and many other great prizes!
3rd Place: Hal & Missy Johnson- Michigan – 39 Nortech
Prizes included OceanLed lights, Garmin Virb Camera, GoGPS tracking system, and Wilson Custom Marine gift certificate.
See over a thousand Key West 2014 photos posted on the FPC Photo galleries! Complete Key West editorial coverage in the next issue of: Powerboating in Paradise Magazine. For more info contact: 954-545-1414