Back in Florida after participating in last weekend’s Lake Powell Challenge in Arizona, Florida Powerboat Club president Stu Jones confirmed today that his organization will be ready to handle its annual Key West Poker Run Nov. 8-12. Despite the significant damage caused by Hurricane Irma to the Lower Keys, Jones said the club will be able to accommodate its typical fleet of 160-plus high-performance catamarans, V-bottom sportboats and center consoles.
With facilities at both ends of the Key West Poker Run reportedly able to accommodate Florida Powerboat Club members, the event will happen as scheduled. Photo courtesy/copyright of the Florida Powerboat Club.
“The facilities at both ends of the run are in good shape,” said Jones. “Haulover Marine Center in Miami is in great shape. Grove Harbour in Coconut Grove sustained some damage during Hurricane Irma, but they’re working to get everything cleaned up and repaired and should be ready in time. We may actually be bringing in some temporary docks to help, and we have may to use that facility in a more limited way than we usually do. But I’ve been talking to the owner and things are coming along. And the docks we use in Key West Harbor are protected by the breakwater, so they’re in good shape.
“We are going to assess where we’ll be stopping on the way down as the run gets closer,” he continued. “Most of the boats can make the run without having to stop for fuel, and we also haul down fuel in a tanker truck so we have lots of options for venues. Woman Key in the Mule Keys, where we’ll head for our Saturday fun run, also is fine. We don’t actually beach there—we have to stay 100 yards off the shore.”
Jones said that in addition to checking with multiple local agencies from law enforcement to Fish and Wildlife throughout the Keys to gather information about new navigational hazards/changes on the poker run course reaped by the Category 3 storm, he plans to make several “exploratory” of his own in advance of the event.
“Not to discount what the people in the Keys are going through in any way at all, but for the most part it will be ‘business as usual’ for the Florida Powerboat Club’s Key West Poker Run,” he said. “We know it’s going to take time for the Keys to recover and we want to help in that recovery any way we can.”
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