I would like to begin by thanking our hundreds of participants from all over the United States, Canada, Europe and South America, for joining us for he 21st year of our signature poker run event from Miami to Key West. To understand what a massive undertaking this is, one must consider the magnitude of the total boat participation, factor in an average crew size of six partipants and multiply the combined mileage of the poker run. For most boats, the Miami to Key West Run averaged 170 miles one way, plus a 25 mile fun run to Boca Grande, followed by the return to Miami. That’s 365 miles for for just one single team, and considering that very few trailered home from Key West, these on-water miles are staggering.
But the real bonus is, when you multiply this through the entire fleet, that’s close to 50,000 inwater miles of safe, incident free boating. Not a single accident reported…not a single complaint from any club member about another boater driving erratically. And yet, more than half the fleet are enjoying speeds of well over 100mph! These statistics are phenomenal for our sport, and it reminds us that when we do the right thing, pay close attention to safety, and follow the FPC / BeSafe poker run guidelines…we get a great result! Thanks to ALL of you for a fantastic support of these guidelines, and for making our 21st Key West Poker Run one of the best ever.
Of course, there were many other factors that made this a great event in so many ways! First and foremost, the weather certainly came back our way. While the Wednesday group encountered some windy conditions and a challenging sea for the final 37 mile offshore leg into Key West, every team made it to Key West safely on that first day. Thursday magically delivered a perfect day of boating for almost 100 teams, as winds calmed, seas laid down, and temperatures soared to the mid-80’s…Amazingly, Summer weather in the middle Fall?? This made for an incredible day of boating for everyone, as we launched on schedule from SeaIsle Marina in Miami. I had the opportunity to ride with Cody Lovins and his crew on the brand new Nor-Tech 42 Monte Carlo, loaded with a fun bunch, and ready for action. With its twin Merc Racing 700’s, Cody powered up to a comfortable 70mph cruise, as we led the Performance Class southbound on Biscayne Bay. The hi-performance class had already vanished on the horizon, but the soft mist from their rooster tails lingered in the air, providing a navigation aid as we locked in the featherbeds.
Arriving at Jewfish Creek in Key Largo, the latest addition to the FPC video team hovered inconspicuously overhead…a four-rotor RC drone, that housed an HD Gopro camera, capturing the closest “in-your-boat aerials” imaginable. ( see the clips on the FPC site in the coming days)
Our massive raftup at Gilberts went smoothly for the most part, with additional use of neighboring docks across the waterway, and two dedicated shuttle boats to bring guests over for lunch. Food was superb as always, and before long, the group was on it’s way!!
More to come…..stay tuned! See the Thursday pics at: www.flpowerboat.com