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Adaptation Spells Success For Thunder In The City Fun Run

Until this year, the Chesapeake City, Md.-based Thunder In The City Poker Run had all the trappings—multiple card stops and post-event hand-playing—of a traditional powerboating poker run. But with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and guidelines affecting events around the country and forcing many to simply cancel, organizer Vic DiMarco took a pro-active approach and went with a more-casual and socially distanced fun-run plan for the July 25 happening.

Part of the diverse Thunder In The City fleet, this 36-foot Spectre catamaran logged a bit of air time on Chesapeake Bay. Photos by Tim Sharkey copyright Sharkey Images/speedonthewater.com.

And the new plan worked.

“I think we ended up having 37 or 38 boats,” said DiMarco, who has organized the event for the past 15 years and is the owner and operator of DiMarco Marine Performance. “It came together and everybody came out for it. Typically, we would have 40 to 45 and we cap it at 50 boats. We have had people come from all over the country—from the West Coast, Maine, Florida, you name it. Three years ago, Stu Jones from the Florida Powerboat Club, and he told me we have an incredible venue.”

Starting at the Chesapeake Inn, the event had one stop where each boat was issued a poker chip in a sealed envelope before reaching Tikki Lee’s Dock Bar in Sparrows Point, Md. (Venue owner David Carey sponsored the aerial photo shoot for the event.) The boat that received the solid-color chip, said DiMarco, earned a $500 cash prize.

Check out the slideshow above to enjoy more action from the 2020 Thunder In The City Fun.

“We didn’t play cards this year and I think it worked out well,” he said. “Everybody was in a mood to just hang out together. It turned out to be more of a dock party where we could keep everything outside.

“We killed it man,” he added. “It really worked out. Assuming COVID-19 is in the ground, we’ll be back to a full blown poker-run next year.”

Added event photographer Tim Sharkey, “There was impressive mix of people and everyone was just enjoying life together there.”

Some 20 high-performance powerboat brands were represented at the Thunder In The City Fun.

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