While dialing Lawrence Coelho’s number yesterday, I was unsure what kind of mood he’d be in and whether he’d even want to talk about his experience at the Boyne Thunder Poker Run in Northern Michigan, an event he’s told me is one of his favorite runs of the year. The California native, who I did a feature on in the March/April 2018 Speed On The Water digital magazine because of his road-warrior dedication to running his two DCB Performance Boats models at events across the country for several years, suffered an unfortunate mishap during the 16th annual affair.
Despite a mechanical issue and a lengthy tow back to the marina, California’s Lawrence Coelho still had nothing but praise for the Boyne Thunder Poker Run in Michigan. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
Fortunately for him though, one of the poker run’s volunteer course marshal boats was in the vicinity, which saved his Teague Custom Marine-powered 28-foot DCB V-bottom—possibly even the lives of him and his friend, Craig. Bob Mathers, a Boyne City, Mich, resident involved with the event, informed me of the incident and he and I agreed that it could be a positive story highlighting poker run safety.
I wasn’t sure if Coelho would agree, but I asked anyway. “Lawrence, I heard about your mishap,” I said. “How’s the boat? Would you be willing to talk about what happened? Because I think it could be a good story that people can either relate to or learn from?”
Coelho responded with an immediate “of course.”
“I think a lot of people putting on poker runs could learn a thing or two from Boyne,” Coelho said. “Those guys do a fantastic job. The guy who towed us in was a gentleman and a half. if it wasn’t for him, we would have sunk the boat.”
After leaving the event’s second card stop in Northport, Mich., Coelho said he blew a hole in the gimbal of his IMCO Marine SCX drive, which caused his boat to start taking on water. Wally Trine of St. Clair, Mich., was one of the boats patrolling that portion of the course at that time and he and his significant other, Debi Brusatori, sprung into action from less than a third of a mile away once they saw Coelho’s boat come off plane and open the engine hatch.