Just two weeks ago to the day, the boat count for the Florida Powerboat Club’s annual Key West Poker Run in early November was sitting at 180 entries. Earlier this week, that number rose to 230 boats—a record for the event, though not a final one, according to Stu Jones, the head of the Pompano Beach, Fla., organization.
A little less than a month away, the 2019 Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run is shaping up to be one for the record books. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“It appears that it is a record, though we had three or four cancellations yesterday,” he said. “But more people are signing up today and tomorrow and even later—you would be amazed how many people wait until the last minute to try and register—so the real number isn’t firm for about another week or so. I’m guessing it will top 230 boats.”
Looking at a registration breakdown by brand, the current leader is Cigarette Racing Team with 30 boats, followed by MTI with 29 boats, Nor-Tech with 25 and Outerlimits with 20 boats.
That the event is close to a lock on attracting its largest fleet in history in a transitional year for offshore racing in Key West—Race World Offshore is producing the November 3-10 Key West races and their surrounding activities including a Thursday night concert featuring country music star Lee Brice, a Friday night raceboat parade/exhibition on Duval Street and more for the first time—is not lost on Jones.
“I think we have proven that the poker run lifestyle has much more overall appeal to powerboat enthusiasts with easier access, more events, and a more casual non-competitive environment,” he said.
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