If the morning portion of yesterday’s 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run in Clayton, N.Y., was a relatively low-speed 60-mile tour—30 miles in each direction—of the St. Lawrence River, the 100-mile after-lunch portion—an extended version of the same course—gave participants with a need for higher speed a chance to pursue it. And that’s exactly what roughly half of the 118-boat fleet did, with the remaining owners of the high-performance catamarans, V-bottom sportboats and center consoles and their guests opting to either sit it out and enjoy the lovely 1,000 Islands Harbor Hotel or explore the area via water on their own.
Thanks to Randy Scism, Cherell Scism and the rest the Marine Technology Inc., crew, our group on their show-stopping MTI-V 42 center console opted to join the spectator fleet off famed Singer Castle so we could capture still images and video. And the boats in the fleet, particularly a loose formation of Wright Performance 360 sport catamarans, put on a fun show.
In short, like so many of the participants in the second-year event, we took it easy in the afternoon and enjoyed the company on board and our surroundings, which could be the best—arguably for sure—of any poker run in the country.
With rain in the forecast for the area, most participants opted to pull their boats from the water before dinner, which far from the typically inedible fare at poker runs included multiple food stations, from prime rib to make-your-own-tacos to a clam bake. But the high point of the evening—and maybe even the day—was the live auction, which was preceded with a moving video from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central New York and ended with a live auction that saw a Mercury Racing-donated cooler fetch an even cooler $10,000 and change for River Community Wellness Program at River Hospital.
The only downside of the day? An inexplicable and irresponsible post on Facebook that the morning’s low-speed, single-boat incident that saw a passenger in one of the poker-run boats ejected involved a personal watercraft and led to a fatality. The post was removed in short order, but it left the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run crowd and participants dumbfounded and, frankly, more than a little angry.
For more images from this weekend’s 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run, check out the slideshow above.
All of that faded into a fireworks display, live entertainment and dancing—and a party at the host venue that ran long into the night.
“We’re already talking about how to make our third year even better,” said Bobby Cantwell, one of the event’s organizers. “We know we can do that and we’ll be working on it, probably even starting tomorrow.”
Odds are that the third annual 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run next year will indeed top the first two. But that will be a delightfully tall order.
Editor’s note: Look for a complete feature on the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run in the July/August issue of Speed On The Water Digital magazine.