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A Season Opener To Remember

For Stu Jones, president of the Florida Powerboat Club, the 2019 season-opening Winter Poker Run from Miami to Hawks Cay Resort & Marina in Duck Key was as memorable as any of the club’s 26 previous kick-off events. That’s because he got to debut his “Project 1080” Cigarette Racing Team 38-foot V-bottom that was repowered with twin Mercury Racing 540 engines, amongst other things, in a rather intimate poker run setting with 20 club members who brought an impressive array of performance boats on the run last Friday.

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Florida Powerboat Club president Stu Jones took his Project 1080 Cigarette on its first poker run last week from Miami to Duck Key.

“My boat ran great—we have some dialing in to do still and plan to test some different props, but overall the engines felt great and provided plenty of power,” Jones said on Tuesday en route to Destin, Fla., for meetings regarding the club’s mid-August Emerald Coast Powerboat Poker Run and the more pressing late-May Orange Beach Powerboat Week, the club’s first event in Alabama and a new partnership with The Wharf at Orange Beach. “Fortunately with Performance Marine Trading owner Pat Sullivan handling things, we’re in capable hands. FJ Propeller also is on board as a sponsor so that will help us get some different props to test.

“We went with the ITS stand-off boxes on the Bravo One XR drives, which the boat did not have before, so we need to figure out the sweet spot for the props because the Bravo propellers we have now are created extra drag being farther from the transom,” he continued. “We’re going to try the Max 5 five-blades next and see how those perform. Right now the boat running is about 70 mph at the top. On a good day with the right props, we might be able to see 80 mph. You know me, I’m not about top speed any way. For me, it’s about getting around reliably and comfortably and for us to be able to use the boat to raise some money.”

Check out the pictures above from the Winter Poker Run courtesy of Florida Powerboat Club and Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Jones said at the Winter Poker Run he raised several thousand dollars for Broward House, a not for profit social services organization that provides services for people impacted by HIV and other chronic health challenges, by providing rides to two different couples. He plans to do the same thing at events throughout the season to raise money for the various causes they support.

Read more: A Season Opener To Remember

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