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Boyne City’s Coolest Warm Summer Night

A couple of longtime friends, Sunsation Powerboats teammates Brad DiMaggio and Ryan Wenk, were gob-smacked at the size of the crowd during last night’s Boyne Thunder Poker Run street celebration and display in downtown Boyne City, Mich. DiMaggio, the director of marketing for the Algonac, Mich., company and Wenk, its national sales manager, spent much of the evening on a Sunsation 32 CCX center console accessible by a metal staircase/catwalk on the starboard side of the boat.

With high-performance powerboats, exotic automobiles and more to ogle, thousands of people flocked to downtown Boyne City last night for the Boyne Thunder Poker Run street party and exhibit. Photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix and Matt Trulio/speedonthewater.com.

For the better part of four hours in simply perfect weather, the Sunsation display hosted a steady stream—make that a firehose—of people eager to get a look inside the 32-footer.

“This event is insane,” Wenk said. “It’s busier than any boat show or poker run I’ve been to and we actually got some solid sales leads.”

Friends of the late Tracy Nemecek paid tribute to the “Original Fella,” a former organizing committee member and tireless supporter of the Boyne Thunder Poker Run.

Added DiMaggio, “I still can’t believe this turnout.”

Just up the street, Matt and Chelsi Soper and their dog, Maddie, exhibited Old School, their offshore racing world championship-winning Cigarette Racing Team 38 Top Gun, and represented speedonthewater.com at the same time. Though the Sopers, who live in nearby Elk Rapids, Mich., have exited the sport, they still have a legion of fans. Between hundreds of those fans and hundreds more folks just thrilled to see a raceboat in downtown Boyne City, they were busy all night.

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Enjoy more scenes from yesterday’s Boyne City happening.

“That was a ton of fun,” said Matt Soper, who plans to watch the poker run today with Chelsi on Old School at the Elk Rapids card-stop. “It went way too fast and it was so busy.”

At the waterfront end of Main Street, a line of folks eager to purchase Mercury Racing-branded apparel formed and persisted through much of the evening. The gear-sales tent was set up next to the Fond du Lac, Wis., company’s Mobile Marketing Vehicle, which attracted a parade of spectators wanting to get a close look at the inner workings of a dual-calibration 1350/1100 quad-cam four-valve sterndrive engines, as well as those of a 450R outboard engine.

Thanks to their Sunsation-employed husbands, Katie DiMaggio (left) and Madolin Wenk had an elevated perch in Boyne City Marina.

Several blocks up the the street where the exhibit began, the Good Boy Vodka display—complete with its branded turbine-engine-powered Mystic catamaran—was simply mobbed.

But the size of the crowd, likely in the tens of thousands but unconfirmed at this point, was most apparent at the Boyne City Marina. From the docks to the open space behind them, which hosted displays including those of American Custom Marine and Avalon Pontoon Boats—both Michigan-based companies—getting anywhere quickly was out of the question.

No one cared. No one was in a hurry to be anywhere.

Because last night downtown Boyne City was exactly where everyone in town needed to be.

The Kentucky contingent enjoyed much of the evening on board Chris and Shelby Mattingly’s Midnight Express 43 Solstice center console.

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