With the Miami International Boat Show and the post-show poker run that it takes its name from the annual event looming this month, Florida Powerboat Club head Stu Jones needed a bit of Florida Keys boating time to recharge. The Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Jones and his wife, Jackie, have been on the move since their Key West Poker Run in November 2019, which they followed up the next month with an eight-day boat trip to Southwest Florida.
The Florida Powerboat Club kicked off its 2020 season with last weekend’s Winter Escape Poker Run to the Florida Keys (click image to enlarge). Photos courtesy/copyright Florida Powerboat Club.
With its relatively small 23-boat field, last weekend’s FPC Winter Escape Poker Run from Miami to the Faro Blanco Resort in Marathon provided just the boost Jones and company needed. The fleet departed from Haulover Marine Center late Friday morning and stopped for lunch at Sundowners in Key Largo—a relatively new FPC staple—on the way to its final destination.
“I’ve said this many, many times, but sometimes less is more at a poker run,” said Jones, who is putting the fine touches on the FPC’s next Powerboating In Paradise magazine and prepping for five-days of exhibiting at the boat show. “The Winter Escape poker run was a perfect example of how a smaller event can be a more enriching experience for everyone.
“I had a few club members say to me, ‘Stu, I’ve done every event you’ve ever produced, and this was the best poker run I’ve ever done with you,” he added. “The vibe was mellow and everybody chilled.”
Rather than have the photo helicopter chase the fleet on Friday’s outbound leg to the popular Marathon destination, Jones scheduled the event’s photo shoot as part of a Saturday fun run with the boats grouped by speed-class.
“That gave us the opportunity to get good pictures of everybody,” he said. “And some of our members ran all the way to Key West that day.”
Jones said he’s ready to go for the Miami show on Virginia Key and his almost-sold-out poker run the following weekend.
The Saturday photo shoot delivered images of every boat in the fleet.
“It’s been a hectic time, but the Winter Escape was just what I needed to start the FPC season,” he said.
Editor’s Note: Look for a feature on the Jones family’s cross-state boating adventure in the upcoming issue of Speed On The Water digital magazine.