Tapping into pent-up, early season demand for organized events among performance-boat enthusiasts, this weekend’s inaugural Englewood Beach Waterfest Pack The Pantry Poker Run in Southwest Florida has 123 registered participants—and 160 poker hands sold—to date. Proceeds of the event will go the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition and Englewood Helping Hands.
Though focused on boats, the event is open to automobiles and motorcycles as five of its six card stops can be reached by land.
The waters off Englewood Beach, Fla., and beyond will host a substantial poker-run fleet this weekend. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
The Sheraton Four Points Resort in Punta Gorda is the event’s host venue. Online registration closes today.
As the longstanding site for the Offshore Powerboat Association’s annual world championships, Englewood Beach is familiar to fans of the sport. The event, which was relocated to Morehead City, N.C., in 2020 is returning to the Gulf Coast city this year.
“Ralph Young, our wet-pits chairman, put this event together along with our entire board of directors,” said Ray LaBadie, the primary local organizer behind the annual OPA event in Englewood Beach. “With the struggles of the last year, we thought supporting charities that help the needy families was the best option. All participants are being asked to bring canned goods to our Friday night pre-party. Representatives from both charities will be on hand to except all donations.
“Offshore racers committed to attending are Mark Robbins, Bill Shipley, Micheal Stancombe, Damon Marotta, Vinnie Winowski and maybe a few more,” he added.