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Gallery Of The Week: Another Awe-Inspiring Arendal Poker Run

With the summer boating season officially winding down—especially for the diehard performance boating enthusiasts in Scandinavia—now is as good a time as any to take a look back at the hottest summer event in Norway, the 11th annual Arendal Poker Run.

Norway’s 11th annual Arendal Poker Run featured perfect weather, good times and a great mix of go-fast boats. Photos courtesy Torjus H Photography/Arendal Poker Run

Hosted by Neptun Powerboat Club in late June, the popular event held in the beautiful southern town of Arendal was another wildly fun and successful gathering. With 65 registered boats this year, the Arendal Harbour and the surrounding Pollen area were filled with enthusiastic participants and on-lookers hoping to catch a glimpse of the many boats on the water.

After witnessing the fun being had not only by the poker run teams but by the entire community, Rune Høgevoll, president of the Neptun Powerboat Club, clearly liked what he saw.

“That is the reason I spend hundreds of hours planning this event,” Høgevoll said. “It’s great to see the smiles on everybody’s faces.”

Høgevoll said the event kicked off Thursday night with The DODs Tour, a “death-diving” competition league in which extreme professionals jumped in the water in a spectacular way—from a 10-meter-high tower.

Following some on-water fun during the day Friday, organizers hosted a drivers briefing that was followed by the event’s traditional shrimp party. Already packed with boats and people on Friday evening, the Pollen area was swarming with activity the next morning before the start of the run.

The sunny weather certainly motivated the spectators as well as the participants, and by 10 a.m. on Saturday, the boats had started on the route to beautiful Risør, an historic place known for its wooden boat building. On the way to Risør there were two card stops—one in a small place where the prime minister of Norway was watching from his cabin, and another at a small fishing island-village outside Tvedestrand where many spectators gathered to watch the nice boats passing by.

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Check out the slideshow above for more images from the Arendal Poker Run.

The event included a little misfortune when a participant’s Fountain Powerboats V-bottom sank just before the lunch stop in Risør. Fortunately a local rescue service was able to safely collect the people on board before the boat went down.

Nicolay Rylander, who helps organize the event with Høgevoll, said that the local rescue crews are an essential component of the poker run.

“The local rescue service is an important aspect in the planning,” Rylander said. “Thankfully setting up proper safety protocols came in handy again this year.”

Rylander added that Saturday’s lunch stop featured live music and an incredibly fun atmosphere. Following lunch, the boats were on the move again, heading back to Pollen and the Arendal Harbour.

After a few hours of people sitting around the docks, playing music and having fun in the fantastic weather, the event’s DJ took his rightful place in a stand in the middle of the boats and the annual “Kodus rave cocktail” started.

“The harbor was boiling!,” Rylander said, adding that the party continued with dinner and the card revealing where a substantial amount of money once again was donated to the local rescue service.

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