With 159 boats currently registered for its Key West Poker Run, the Florida Powerboat Club will be producing its final event of the troubled 2020 season this week. As in years past, the boats will depart in Wednesday and Thursday waves from Haulover Marine Center in North Miami.
Looking at Wednesday’s less than ideal weather and marine forecast for the run, Florida Powerboat Club head Stu Jones has come up with a creative solution for the Wednesday group. In what he dubbed a “eleventh-hour strategy,” he has secured lodging and dockage for those participants at the Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club in Marathon, which is roughly halfway to Key West.
“Faro Blanco is wide open on Wednesday and they were able to turn this into an opportunity for the FPC members getting a great rate and plenty of docking,” he said. “They do not have to pre-book or guarantee—it’s based on the weather. If they stick their nose out in the ocean and don’t like what they see, they can come back to safe harbor. The dockmaster and hotel staff are basically on reserve to serve us if we pull the plug on the final leg to Key West on Wednesday.”
The Nor-Tech lunch stop during Thursday’s Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run will have 15 to 20 boats in the fleet including the company’s new 460 Flyer. Photo courtesy/copyright Nor-Tech.
The Thursday group will depart as scheduled and run to various lunch stops on their way. Both Mystic Powerboats and Nor-Tech have their owner-specific lunch stops, which Jones arranged in part to help split up the large group—large group gatherings such as lunches remain a COVID-19 challenge throughout the Keys.
The Wednesday group, as well as most of the Thursday group, will stop at Gilbert’s Tiki Bar and Resort in Key Largo for lunch. Both lunches at the popular waterfront eatery will be sponsored by Wozencraft Insurance Agency.
“Scott Kottmann, our agent from Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, and Tanah Kinsey from our home office will be attending along with me,” said Devin Wozencraft, the head of the Southern California-based business specializing in high-performance powerboat insurance. “Scott pulled the 30-foot Wozencraft Skater all the way from the lake and Tanah and I flew in last night. We are giving a special gift to all FPC participants as well as free T-shirts and beverage koozies.”
Also departing Thursday, the 25-boat MTI group is heading to the Faro Blanco Resort, which will serve as that event’s home-base for the weekend. MTI’s marketing manager Taylor Scism said participants will have the option of day trips to Key West, as well as the local area for those who prefer shorter day outings.
“We were a little worried about the weather a few days ago but it looks like we’re in the clear,” said Scism, the company’s marketing manager. “It’s looking good.”
For several MTI center console and catamaran owners, the run will be their first brand-specific event. They include V-42 owners Daniel Pharris, Jim and Susan Lewis, and Kevin and Robyn McCarty, as well as Nevada-based 390X owner Patrick Clark and Greg Harris and Yvonne Aleman of South Florida, who will run their 340X.
Scism emphasized that the happening will be casual. “We just have a few lunch runs planned,” she said.
The MTI fleet will arrive at the Faro Blanco venue on Thursday. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
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