I for sure know of two people who are ready to party with us in Key West, Fla., in a couple of months—Will and Deb Derstine, the Pennsylvania boaters who won the Speedonthewater.com Boyne Thunder Poker Run Experience auction item during last year’s Speedonthewater.com/OffshoreOnly.com Key West Bash. I recently spoke with the Derstines, who own a Howard Custom Boats 28 Bullet powered by a 1,000-hp Teague Custom Marine engine, and they are excited to return to the annual Key West Bash at the Sandbar Sports Grill on Greene Street and possibly take home another life-changing poker run experience.
After bidding on the Boyne Thunder Poker Run Experience auction item at the 2018 SOTW/OSO Key West Bash, Pennsylvania’s Will and Deb Derstine took their 28-foot Howard to the mid-July event in Northern Michigan and had a blast. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
Taking place from 7 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, during the Florida Powerboat Club’s Key West Poker Run and the Race World Offshore Key West World Championships, this year’s party is going to feature more of the same awesome raffle prizes and high-dollar auction items as we’ve had in the past.
When I spoke with the Derstines, who traveled to Key West for the first time in 2018 and hope to have just as good of a time again this year, they were ecstatic about the time they spent in Boyne City, Mich., in mid-July at the Boyne Thunder Poker Run.
“We had a blast at Boyne Thunder—that was a really neat poker run and such a beautiful venue,” said Will Derstine, who explained that he hauled his boat out to California for a full mechanical re-rig and makeover from the team at Teague Custom Marine in 2017. “We’re going back to Boyne again next year for sure. We’re thinking about trying to do the 1000 Islands Charity Poker Run, too. Maybe we can win an entry to that at the auction this year.”
While that might be possible if the event donates another entry and the Derstines are prepared to donate enough money, we haven’t confirmed all of the items as of yet and will do a story once we know what we have to help raise money for Samuel’s House, a nonprofit organization benefitting homeless women and families in Florida’s Southernmost city.
No matter the prizes—and you know there will be some good ones—the place to be on Thursday evening (Nov. 7) in Key West is the Sandbar. Come join me, Yvonne Aleman, Greg Harris, Matt Trulio, Will and Deb Derstine, Nolan Ferris, our friends at Wozencraft Insurance, which is sponsoring the event again, and many more of our closest performance boating pals at the party of the year. We hope to see you there.
Editor’s note: If you’d like to donate an item for the raffle or the auction, please contact [email protected]