While the future of the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., has yet to be decided pending a possible move up and across the state to Clearwater, the Florida Powerboat Club’s annual Key West Poker Run, which happens the same week as the offshore races, will continue—and will expand its scope of activities in the event of an SBI departure. That’s the word from Stu Jones, the owner and founder of the FPC.
“Key West has become—without question—one of our signature runs,” said Jones. “It’s certainly our biggest and most popular run. Some spectators may be lost if the Super Boats don’t come back, but we think if that happens it will present an opportunity for our club.
“All of this comes at an interesting time as we are re-evaluating our current poker run platforms,” Jones continued. “We will continue to come to Key West, regardless of what SBI does. If SBI does leave, it opens the possibility for us of an umbrella of events—a ‘powerboat week’ concept that emulates a ‘boating week’ combined with a regatta.”
Among the events Jones said he would consider incorporating into the 2014 Key Poker Run would be a top-speed Shootout in Key West Harbor modeled after those put on by the annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, the Texas Outlaw Challenge and the Desert Storm Poker Run.
“That would give poker runners, and maybe even a few offshore racers who don’t race anywhere regularly for whatever reason, a chance to see what their boats can do on a one-mile course in a controlled, spectator friendly setting with proper safety gear and safety teams. As a poker run organizer, I’d like to be able to offer that opportunity to our ‘speed junkie’ members who buy their boats to go fast, but can’t go as fast as they want to during our runs because of our rules.”