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FPC Winter Poker Run to Marathon Exceeds Expectations

With several motorcycles, a couple of aircraft and two dozen boats making the trip, last weekend’s Florida Powerboat Club Winter Poker Run to Marathon in the Florida Keys was a confidence booster, to say the least, for Stu Jones and the rest of the club.

fpc winter15 marina

The new Hyatt Faro Blanco Resort hosted members of the Florida Powerboat Club last weekend. Photos courtesy Florida Powerboat Club

Thanks to some new member participation and an eye-opening new venue with conveniences club members could get used to, such as a fuel truck with dockside access so owners can refuel their boats without leaving their slips, the poker run from Grove Harbour Marina in Coconut Grove, Fla., to the Hyatt Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club on the protected bay waters of Marathon was first class.

“Overall we had a great run,” said Jones, who added that the ride down the Intracoastal on Friday was a little windy but enjoyable. “We had tremendous response for the new venue. And when I say ‘new,’ I mean ‘new.’ They literally opened the doors to the resort earlier in the week so we were the first group to take advantage of the facility. It was fabulous. The marina was first class and the staff was extremely helpful and prepared.

“There’s no question we will be visiting the venue a lot more in the future,” continued Jones, adding that he’s already made plans for a Saturday lunch run to Faro Blanco Resort during next month’s Miami Boat Show Poker Run. “For the Winter Poker Run we had a nice array of V-bottoms and center consoles, and on the cat side, we had some big equipment in the form of a 46-footer from Skater Powerboats, a 50-footer from Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats and a 48-foot MTI. We even had a big motoryacht come down. That was nice because the owner gave us access to the boat, which provided a great place to keep the party going when the hotel bar closed.”

Check out the slideshow for even more images from the Florida Powerboat Club’s Winter Poker Run.

After finding out what was in store, FPC members Jim and Lynn Archambault of Atlanta knew they didn’t want to miss the fun. But rather than bring their new center console from Sunsation Boats or their offshore V-bottom from Nordic Boats, the couple flew down to Marathon in their Piper Saratoga airplane. Also taking to the air was longtime FPC member Luis Sotero, who left his Cigarette 38 Top Gun at home to fly his Searey amphibious airplane above the group during the run and document it with GoPro cameras mounted to the struts.

While noting that poker run winner Chris Ribeiro, who boasted a full house, owns a Cigarette Racing 45 Maximus with twin Mercury Racing HP1075SCi engines, Jones was quick to point out that two of the rare 45-foot Cigarette models actually took part in the event.

Jones said he received a lot of compliments from the attendees about the new venue. He also was happy to report that the Monroe County Tourist Development Council was pleased with the club’s event.

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