It’s safe to say that the new partnership with The Wharf in Orange Beach, Ala., and the Florida Powerboat Club was a hit. Thanks to the new five-day event hosted at the expansive venue, which includes a marina, condo rentals, hotel, shopping, dining, tons of entertainment and more, the first-year poker run that took place May 29 to June 2 appears to be something the club can build on.
Scott Favre of Baton Rouge, La., had a great time running his Outerlimits in the Alabama event. Photos courtesy Florida Powerboat Club
According to Stu Jones, FPC’s president and founder, the event went well with close to 50 boats registered.
“We have come a long way since our first visit here 15 years ago in 2004,” Jones said. “The boating lifestyle in Orange Beach is amazing—for boating enthusiasts of all kinds. That said, it was apparent that performance boats don’t have too strong of representation there, which ended up being good for us because the event was so spectator friendly. The Wharf provided an ideal headquarters for the event with great choices for accommodations, a variety of entertainment on site and a first-class floating dock marina at our doorstep.”
Check out the slideshow above for more images from the Orange Beach Powerboat Week at The Wharf in Alabama.
FPC member Paul Bertucci of Biloxi, Miss., agreed 100 percent with Jones.
“We had such a great time at the event,” said Bertucci, who owns a 39-foot Deep Impact Custom Boats center console with triple Mercury Racing Verado 350 engines. “I’m glad Stu picked up an event here at the same time as the old Smokin’ the Sound Poker Run in Biloxi, which I sponsored and helped organize.
“Fortunately the weather was great,” he added. “I think the event can continue to grow with the right support. The Wharf was awesome—literally you don’t have to leave the property, which was good for me because we came by boat. Unfortunately a couple of the poker run stops had to be modified at the last minute because it was announced last week that snapper season was opening on Saturday so some of the marinas couldn’t accommodate the powerboats.”
Louisiana’s Nate Michel enjoyed the Orange Beach Powerboat Week in his stunning 40-foot MTI Cloud IX.
Jones said he can see the event potentially leading to the launch a new organization—the Alabama Powerboat Club, which would operate at least four events every year traveling different directions along the Gulf Coast waterways.
“Orange Beach is really nice,” said Louisiana’s Nate Michel, who had a blast doing the run with his eight-year-old son, Grant, in Cloud IX, his 40-foot MTI that he spent a couple of years redoing and debuted at the Tickfaw 200 Poker Run in Louisiana last month. “The Wharf is actually the perfect venue—the best I’ve seen hands down. There’s tons of water to run in and you can go fast for a long way. It could have been a little better organized but that’s understandable being that it was the first year of the event.”
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