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Five Unforgettable Moments From The Desert Storm Poker Run

My wife likes to tell me about a bi-weekly “assignment” that the executives where she works have to produce for the company’s CEO in which they describe their “top five” things going on with their business unit. She doesn’t enjoy spending the time to do them, but she admits that they’re rather helpful.

With the incredible Spooled Up 52-foot MTI cat in the background, the new DCB M33R cat heads out on another demo ride during the Desert Storm Poker Run. Photo by Jason Johnson

Taking a cue from my significant other, I decided to come up with my “top five,” with a focus on the cool stuff that happened yesterday from the Desert Storm Poker Run in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., that I’m likely never going to forget. So, in chronological order, here goes.

DCB’s M33R got tons of attention going through the Lake Havasu Channel on Friday. Photo by Jason Johnson

DCB M33R First Impression
After visiting with several people, including Bob Teague of Teague Custom Marine, Randy and Cherell Scism of MTI, Summer Richardson of Swoop Motorsports and more, on the docks at the London Bridge Resort before the start of the poker run, I hopped in the co-pilot seat of the first DCB Performance Boats M33R catamaran with one of the company’s principals, Paul Miller, who was accompanied by two lovely DCB employees, Nicole and Taryn.

Since speedonthewater.com has covered the M33R since it was a new design, it was exciting to be able to get a “real world” feel for how the brand new 33-foot cat powered by twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines performed with a ton of boats on the lake. It also was nice to see the spectators’ reactions as Miller idled the beautiful M33R through the channel during the parade lap before we headed out on the lake. Of course the boat turned a lot of heads and received lots of thumbs up and “cat” calls. By the time we were done with the first part of the run and back at the London Bridge docks, which were flawlessly extended for the event thanks to Todd Taylor of Jokers Wild Productions, I was ready to give the boat two big thumbs up.

Everyone I talked with who had either driven the 33-footer or taken a demo ride raved about it. After getting a chance to feel the boat run over boat wakes, wind chop and more on the lake at speeds between 60 and 100-plus mph, I could see why. DCB really knocked it out of the park with the M33R, and the order list is already starting to grow because of it.

Spooled Up II was flying around Lake Havasu during the poker run. Photo by Jeff Helmkamp/Helmkamp Photos

Spooled Up Times Two
While heading to the first card stop, we got a glimpse of the Spooled Up and Spooled Up II catamarans owned by Craig and Kim Hargreaves on the return leg of the run. Seeing the 52-foot MTI and the 44-foot DCB—with super similar paintjobs from Mark Morris and company at Visual Imagination in Missouri—was cool since it was the first time I’d seen them together at an event.

Funny thing is, the Hargreaves, who took delivery of the twin Mercury Racing 1550-powered MTI at the 2017 Miami International Boat Show, hadn’t seen the DCB M44 Widebody powered by twin Mercury Racing 1350/1550 dual-calibration engines in person until yesterday’s Street Party. For those who haven’t followed the build on speedonthewater.com, the boat was finished and delivered to Lake Havasu last fall.

Obviously the Hargreaves have been busy, but they weren’t too busy to skip one of their favorite events of the year. Surely being able to showcase two incredible boats at the same event was quite the memorable occasion. I know I won’t forget seeing them run side by side with two helicopters chasing them down the lake.

The new Adrenaline Powerboats 47 ZRX in action on Lake Havasu Photo by Jeff Helmkamp

The All-New Adrenaline 47 ZRX
Thanks to continuing to stay in touch with Mike Layton, the owner of Adrenaline Powerboats in Georgia, I was able to secure a ride with him in his company’s first 47 ZRX Carbon Series offshore V-bottom. As I said in an Instagram post, the word custom is almost an understatement when describing the boat.

The 47-footer, which is powered by twin Mercury Racing 1100 engines, was super responsive and stable. The seating configuration—a 2-2-2 setup with stadium style seating to give the passengers in the second and third row an opportunity to see out of the boat while at speed—was pretty neat. But it was all of the electronic controls and customized display screens that really knock your socks off.

Just wait, the owner of the boat, Chris Walker of Extreme Super Trucks, which has been a longtime sponsor of the Desert Storm Poker Run, is going to be traveling to events across the country to show off the striking yellow and gray beauty so you’ll get a chance to see it for yourself.

It was clear after talking with Walker that he was over the moon with the finished product even though Layton plans make a few modifications to the boat once it returns to Georgia. “He’s a perfectionist,” Walker said. “I think the boat is perfect. Now it’s time to get the outboard version finished.” All of that was before I had a chance to grab some pizza and post a few pictures and videos on social media.

The all-new 43-foot catamaran from Nordic looked beautiful running along Lake Havasu. Photo by Jeff Helmkamp

The Newest Nordic(s)
After lunch, I caught up with Randy Davis, the owner of Nordic Boats who ran his brand new 43-foot catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 1350/1550 engines, and he seemed to have a great time with his friends even though he was experiencing some water pickup issues with the boat that hit the water for the first time this week. They enjoyed the run without any major issues as well as their stop at Pirates Cove Resort for lunch.

Davis said he was pleased with the overall performance of the boat, but the wheels were already spinning with ideas he had to modify the 43-footer, including adding two more seats in the cockpit offset behind the two front seats. Because of the wider cockpit in the boat (compared to the first 43 Enforcer that was delivered in April 2017), he doesn’t think that is going to be a problem. Another thing that was different with the new 43-foot cat was the extended split bussell that was really sharp looking.

On a different front, the company also delivered its latest 34 Deck Boat, which is powered by twin Mercury Racing 600SCi engines, on Thursday, and according to Thane Tiemer, Nordic’s general manager, the spacious, smooth-running boat is really happy with that power.

Card turn in at the London Bridge Resort. Photo by Jason Johnson

Positive Vibes All Around
Last but not least, as I was hanging around the poker run card turn in area at the London Bridge Resort, the new host location, I ran into several cheerful folks who were happy with the new organizers, Storm Productions, as well as the entire poker run and the terrific weather. Maybe the happiest person I saw though was Jim Nichols, one of the founders of the poker run, who was mingling around with his camera trying not to step on anyone’s toes who were running the event this year. You could see the stress level had dropped compared to year’s past.

The smiles also were coming from Christina Crane and the team behind the event. Putting together a poker run with 175 registered boats, not to mention another 15 to 20 sponsors that took part in the event, is no easy task, but they made it look like it was. Congrats to everyone involved in another successful Desert Storm Poker Run.

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