The last domestic event on the Florida Powerboat Club 2021 roster before the outfit goes dormant for the summer—save for a couple of jaunts to the Bahamas—Orange Beach Powerboat Week is scheduled for May 13-16. The Alabama event, which is entering its second year, is limited to 50 boats.
The 2019 Orange Beach Powerboat Week attracted Louisiana’s Nate Michel in his 40-foot MTI Cloud IX catamaran. Photo courtesy/copyright of the Florida Powerboat Club.
“It’s looking very good,” said Stu Jones, the president of the Pompano Beach, Fla.-based outfit, who is coming off a record-setting Tampa Bay Poker Run. “We’re just a few boats away from our 50-boat cap, which is right where we want to be.”
The club is producing the event in partnership with The Wharf in Orange Beach. The Wharf is “a landmark marine resort with a floating dock marina, first class hotel and luxury condo rentals, extensive dining and retail shopping options, plus an extensive selection of entertainment options in an amusement park setting,” according to the Florida Powerboat Club website.
Asked about the relatively low number of boats the event can accommodate, Jones explained the size limit is based on limited dockage and lunch-stop capacities.
“The boat count is at that number because of the restriction on the dock in facilities that we have at The Wharf and also the function spaces that we are using for our parties,” he said. “Even most of the waterfront establishments we are using will only allow 15 to 20 boats at one time, so it gets quite complicated if you try to expand your numbers. Every event has a different dynamic, different set of guidelines which allow us to determine the right boat count. Orange beach will never be more than 50 for all these reasons.”
Like several events in 2020, the Orange Beach happening was cancelled in light of COVID-19 pandemic concerns. Jones was particularly disappointed at having to scrub the event as it delivered a strong showing in 2019, so he’s eager to build on its first-year success.
“We’re going to be two solid days of boating, with an eastbound run on Friday and a westbound run on Saturday,” he said