Sold out at 50-plus boats, the Florida Powerboat Club’s second-year poker-run event in Orange Beach, Ala., kicked off last night with a welcome party for the 200 participants in this weekend’s Gulf Coast happening. The event is dubbed Orange Beach Powerboat Week and will feature two full days of boating—including poker runs—for the participants.
Cancelled in 2020 in what would have been its second year, the Florida Powerboat Club’s Orange Beach Powerboat Week returns to the Gulf Coast this weekend. Photo 2019 event courtesy/copyright of the Florida Powerboat Club.
But the event’s host resort venue could well be the star of the show. Called The Wharf at Orange Beach, it includes luxury lodging and a marina on site as well as multiple retail outlets.
“I think many of our first- and second-time members will be blown away by the facilities offered by The Wharf, where you can essentially dock your boat, enjoy great accommodations and dining and hang out with your fellow boaters for three continuous days of fun,” said Stu Jones, the president of the Pompano Beach, Fla., club. “Plus, Orange Beach is a modern beachfront community with boating tourism at the forefront of its economy—and the Florida Powerboat Club fits into that profile perfectly.”
Though the venue is the event’s presenting sponsors, Jones also secured backing from Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats, Mystic Powerboats and Bent Marine, a Louisiana-based Nor-Tech dealer, for parties throughout the weekend. Additional sponsors include club members Paul Bertucci, Chad Havens and Steven and Kelly Marino, who live Auburn, Ala., and recently took delivery of a new Nor-Tech 390 Sport center console during the company’s 30th anniversary fun run to Useppa Island, Fla., earlier this month.
“It’s certainly going to be a unique mix of powerboats and personalities, as can be expected from most Florida Powerboat Club events,” said Jones. “The only difference is that this one is hosted in neighboring Alabama. It’s a much different backdrop to what we normally see on our Florida events, but that’s what keeps it exciting for many of our members and sponsors.
“When Jackie (Jones) and I see a bunch of happy, smiling people on Sunday morning asking us, ‘When’s the next run?’ we’ll know we’ve done our jobs,” he added.