Just eight days from now, the first wave of high-performance V-bottoms, catamarans and center consoles will depart Miami and Coconut Grove bound for Key West in the Florida Powerboat’s annual Key West Poker Run. Another larger wave of go-fast boats will depart the following morning and by the time they arrive there should be more than 150 FPC-organized vessels docked in various marinas in the nation’s Southernmost City. And for the next three days, the party—make that parties—will rage.
Of course, the next eight days will find Stu Jones, the founder and owner of the Florida Powerboat Club based in Pompano Beach, Fla., in various mental states ranging from from anxious to elated. That Jones has organized the event since 1993 make some elements of doing it again “routine,” but always there are last-minute details and surprises of pleasant and unpleasant kind that add gray hairs to the transplanted Canadian’s head.
Chatting with Jones yesterday to see how things were shaping up for this year’s event, I realized that despite covering the Key West Poker Run many times since 1995 that there’s a whole lot I don’t know about it. So I asked him a bunch of random and not-so-random questions. What follows are his answers.