With 125 high-performance catamarans, center consoles and V-bottoms headed to Key West, Fla., today as the final wave of the Florida Powerboat Club’s signature trek to the city at the end of the road, we thought we’d deliver a quick look back at the Tuesday and Wednesday Key West Poker Run departure waves. Contributing speedonthewater.com photographer Jeff Helmkamp was on hand to capture both fleets, as he is today.
Picture perfect—Chad Havens and the Savage crew on his Skater Powerboats catamaran—on a flawless Wednesday in Key Largo at Gilbert’s Resort and Tiki Bar. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.
There were 70-something boats in yesterday’s fleet, a healthy number by any standard. Tuesday’s wave was about half that size.
The Wednesday fleet.
Both fleets stopped for lunch at Gilbert’s Resort and Tiki Bar in Key Largo before finishing the long run to Key West.
The Tuesday departure was particularly noteworthy in that it had been several years since Florida Powerboat Club head Stu Jones had offered it. Based on the response from those who went for the Tuesday option, he’ll be offering it again in 2024.
The Tuesday fleet.
“It was very chill,” said Stephen Miles, who enjoyed the Tuesday trek to Key West with friends from his home state of Kentucky. “And the lunch that FPC provided for us at Gilbert’s was freaking awesome.”
With the Coconut Grove skyline as a backdrop, Donnie and Cara MacLeod headed to Key West in their Outerlimits SC 37 catamaran.