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Desert Storm Looms Large

Bookending each go-fast boating season, the Desert Storm and Florida Powerboat Club Key West poker runs annually vie for being the largest events of their kind. And true to form, the 2022 Desert Storm Poker Run, which is scheduled for April 20-24 in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., has set a high bar with 196 registered boats.

Registration closed March 20. According to a post on the event’s website, there will be no on-site sign-ups.

“We always close registration a month before the event to prepare,” said Christina Nichols, the event’s key organizer. “I’m just becoming more strict.”

With a massive street exhibit and poker run, plus a top-speed shootout, Desert Storm is the West Coast’s largest and most important go-fast boating event. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.

In 2021, the event attracted 239 boats—just 11 entries off its 250-boat record. But the mile-long Desert Storm Street Party and Exhibit on McCulloch Avenue the day before the run boasted, by all accounts, the best turnout in the event’s history.

Featuring the latest creations from DCB Performance Boats, Eliminator Boats, Nordic Boats and a slew of other noteworthy exhibitors, the Thursday (April 21) celebration of go-fast powerboat hardware and more starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m.

“We always look forward to showcasing our boats and supporting our incredible customers during the entire Desert Storm event,” said Jeff Johnston, the president of El Cajon, Calif.-based DCB. “It’s a great way to open the boating season, and the Desert Storm street party is a big part of that.”

In addition to a trio of outboard engine-powered M37R catamarans, DCB will display Mauricio and Angie Vivanco’s M44 Widebody cat and Jeff Clark’s M31 Widebody cat in its McCulloch Street exhibit.

The five-stop poker run itself is to begin Friday at 11 a.m. and the participants can start and finish at their leisure. Wind and water conditions allowing, the Desert Storm Top Speed Shootout is scheduled to begin Saturday, April 23, at 9 a.m.

The daylong Desert Storm Street Party and Exhibit in downtown Lake Havasu City never disappoints.

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