An impressive turnout of world-class hardware and a reported 301 registered boats made this year’s Pirates of Lanier Poker Run on Georgia’s Lake Lanier one for the record books. Photo by Jeff Gerardi/FreezeFrameVideo.net.
Not only did the Pirates of Lanier Poker Run top 300 registered boats—surpassing last year’s jaw-dropping 282 entries—this weekend’s event at Lake Lanier Islands Resort in Georgia blew last year’s outrageous amount of money raised—$250,000—out of the water. One word—wow.
Obviously final dollar amounts won’t be determined for some time, but members of the Lanier Partners of North Georgia who organize the poker run are confident they’ve exceeded their goal of $400,000 by a substantial amount.
That’s according to board member Dan Jape, who called after midnight his time following Saturday’s party and fireworks show. (He sent me the cool video below.) Jape, who owns Reliable Heating and Air—the event’s presenting sponsor—and runs a sweet Eliminator Boats 36 Speedster, described this year’s festivities as over the top.
“Even with some unfriendly weather we had more people than ever and an awesome run,” Jape said. “The little bit of rain in the morning seemed to deter other boats from the lake, which was nice because it was less crowded than it could have been. We’re just winding down here and man did everyone have a great time. There were no incidents, everyone was safe and we raised a lot of money.
“Being a part of this event is just so fulfilling,” Jape continued. “It’s such a worthwhile run, and what makes it so unique is how powerful it is. I want to stick around for as long as I can and see if we can’t get to $1 million dollars one year—I believe it could happen.”
With respected folks like Dr. Rea Williams and John Woodruff, who owns the 48-foot Marine Technology Inc. catamaran Windship, on the board, it’s definitely possible.
One newcomer to the run was Ron Duggan. You may recognize the name from Captain Ron’s, the host location for the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri. Duggan took part in the poker run with his wife Nicole in Uncharted Territory, a Cigarette Racing 42X owned by their friends Mike and Mark Maasen of Poly Lift Boat Lifts.
Duggan said they all had a blast despite the drizzle.
“Lake Lanier is very cool,” Duggan said. “It was fun to drive up to a card stop to grab your envelope and have a crowd cheering you on. We will definitely come back—the people were fantastic.”
On a side note, we were happy to learn that the Maasens coincidentally won the Speed On The Water magazine article in Friday night’s auction. Look for a complete story on the family’s 42X in an upcoming issue. Click here for more photos from the poker run.
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