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Conditions Don’t Dampen Long Island Stampede Poker Run

While stormy weather left the Atlantic Ocean throughout much of the Northeastern seaboard a jumbled mess late less week, that didn’t stop National Power Boat Association (NPBA) from hosting the Long Island Stampede Poker Run last Saturday in New York. The event attracted 32 high-performance V-bottoms and catamarans and, much to the delight of organizer Billy Frenz, happened under blue skies.


Ran than deal with nasty ocean conditions, the Long Island Stampede Poker Run took to protected water. Photos courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images. (Click image to enlarge.)

“We ran the event on the Great South Bay because the sea conditions killed the ocean legs,” said Frenz. “The rain stopped on Saturday morning, the skies cleared up and it was just beautiful.”

In addition to card handouts before and after the event, the poker run featured three card stops along the way. Participants who opted to miss card stops were given cards at the end of the run before the post-event festivities. “We always give courtesy cards for the guys who miss stops,” said Frenz.

The run attracted a slew of heavy-hitting, 100-plus-mph go-fast boats from Dr. Sam Singer’s 38-foot Skater catamaran to Robert Marselona’s 39-foot Cigarette V-bottom. But size didn’t matter when it came to the cards, as Tom Gargiulo, who piloted his 27-foot Scarab in the event, ended up with the winning poker hand.



Last Saturday’s run attracted 32 high-performance catamarans and V-bottoms. (Click image to enlarge.)

Other awards from the organization included “The Spirit of the NPBA,” which was given to Eddie LaGuardia in his 27-foot Activator; “Best Looking Boat,” which went to Bill Carroll in his 42-foot Fountain, “Best Looking Crew,” earned by Sean Rhatigan and the folks on his 30-foot Superboat; “King of the V-Bottoms,” which went to Bill Betz in his 43-foot Outerlimits; and “King of the Catamarans,” which was given to J.J. and Steve Socolich in their 30-foot Skater.

Next up on the NPBA event schedule is the annual New York Poker Run, June 14 on the Hudson River. The event, which was resurrected last year after a four-year hiatus, pulled in the 35 boats in 2013. Frenz said he expects roughly the same number of registrations for this year’s run.

“This year we have a new wrinkle,” said Frenz. “Because of the construction work on the Tappan Zee Bridge, there is a two-mile no-wake zone that we have to slow down for. The water between the George Washington Bridge and the Tappan Zee was typically where the guys liked to get on it, but they can’t do that this year. About a mile north of the bridge we can get back on plane again.

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