Returning for the fourth consecutive year, this weekend’s Florida Powerboat Club Fort Myers Poker Run attracted a breathtaking mix of 35 high-performance catamarans, center consoles and V-bottom sportboats to the Gulf of Mexico waters off the Southwest Florida venue. Among the boats in the run was Envy, a spectacular 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran owned by New Yorker Chris Cox and recently repowered with dual-calibration Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engines. To help put the engines through their first public sea trial, Cox was joined in the cockpit of the canopied cat by his longtime running mate, former engine builder and de facto crew chief Herb Stotler.
“Herb got the engines in the boat last week,” said Cox. “We ran in 1350 mode and saw around 140 mph.
Back on the water with new power, the 50-foot Envy Mystic catamaran was among more than 30 high-performance boats that descended on Fort Myers this weekend (click image to enlarge). Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix and the Florida Powerboat Club.
“But the main reason we were there was to support Stu Jones and his great event and, oh yeah, all while having tons of fun with great people,” he continued. “It was a win-win.”
Fresh from its third annual dealer meeting and celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Fort Myers and Cape Coral-based Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Powerboat had “six factory teams” in the run, according to Jones, the founder and president of the Florida Powerboat Club. Fellow stalwart FPC sponsor Deep Impact had strong representation in the event, as did MYCO Trailers—thanks to Jones.
“MYCO delivered a brand-new painted aluminum trailer for our Project 1080 Cigarette 38 Top Gun, which is powered by twin Mercury Racing 540 engines,” said Jones.
Check out the slideshow above for a closer look at the 2019 FPC Fort Myers Poker Run fleet.
Friday’s mostly overcast skies for the FPC fun run to private Useppa Island for lunch gave way to what Jones described as “excellent conditions under blue skies, though much rougher than expected ” for Saturday’s poker run. An additional fourth card stop at Gaspirilla Marina in Placida after lunch at the Eagle Grill in Boca Grande Marina added 20 miles to the course, making the total distance traveled by all who completed it approximately 100 miles.
After a final stop at Useppa Island, the fleet returned to its Pink Shell Resort headquarters. Jones said that approximately 125 people attended the awards banquet and celebration that evening.
“Thanks to the support of our club members and sponsors, we set a fleet-size record for this typically small springtime event,” said Jones. “Congratulations to the all the winners, and a special thank-you to all of the participants and sponsors for their continued support.”
Jones has ambitious 2019 poker run season tour in Project 1080, his renovated 38-foot Cigarette Racing Team V-bottom repowered with Mercury Racing 540 engines (click image to enlarge).