For the third poker run of its 2019 season, the Florida Powerboat Club returned to Tampa Bay in late March. The event reportedly attracted 40-plus high-performance catamarans, center consoles and V-bottom sportboats including the Project 1080 Cigarette 38 Top Gun owned by Stu Jones, the president of the Pompano Beach, Fla., outfit.
Tampa Bay’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge provided a classic backdrop for the third event of the Florida Powerboat Club season (click image to enlarge). Photos courtesy/copyright Florida Powerboat Club.
“On Friday, we got things kicked off with a wonderful fun run to a popular waterfront spot called The Getaway in North St. Petersburg,” said Jones. “There was just enough room for everybody to raft up and have a great lunch under the sunny skies for this early spring event. That night, we held our captains’ meeting at the Tampa Marriott and then headed across the street to a casual dinner Harpoon Harry’s.
“On Saturday morning, the team gathered up on the convention center docks,” he continued. “By 10:30 a.m. the event was underway with the first poker card being handed off in front of American Social. The teams continued down into the Tampa Bay area and our planned photo shoot with the boats all going under Tampa Bay’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge proved well-planned and orchestrated. And all of our sponsors including Blackwater, Deep Impact, Midnight Express and Nor-Tech had good representation.”
Check out the slideshow above for more images from the 2019 FPC Tampa Bay Poker Run.
Among those participating in the event was Chris LaMorte, a well-known New Jersey-based performance-boat enthusiast who keeps his 36-foot Skater catamaran at the Kinetic Animation Shop owned by his longtime friend Ryan Beckley in Sarasota. For LaMorte, it was his third FPC Tampa Bay Poker Run in a row.
“We like boating in the Tampa area and it’s nice knowing the waters,” he said. “Tampa Bay is a big waterway with plenty of room to run, and downtown is really nice. It’s a good little run—it’s like a ‘local’ run for us, even though it’s not.”