With almost 110 high-performance catamarans and V-bottoms registered and a month to go before the event, the Desert Storm Poker Run (April 21-26) in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., is shaping up to be another blockbuster. While longtime organizer Jim Nichols of Lake Racer LLC isn’t ready to make a prediction on whether this year’s turnout will top last year’s 157-boat fleet for the run on Lake Havasu, he said was optimistic and pleased with registration so far.
Photographer Robert Brown captured this stunning moment in Desert Storm time in 2012.
“We’re a little bit ahead of where we were last year at this time,” he said.
The roster of heavy-hitters coming is already strong. Participants and fans at Desert Storm will get their first up-close and personal view of Gino Gargiulo’s 48-foot Lamborghini-themed Marine Technology Inc. catamaran. The last time the New Yorker participated in the event several years ago, he was running his Mercedes-themed MTI cat.
Denver-based Lake Havasu regulars Win and Melissa Farnsworth will be packing a one-two punch with Silver Lining, their spectacular M41 DCB Performance Boats catamaran—the first one ever built—and Low Altitude, a 50-foot turbine-powered Mystic Powerboats catamaran they bought in January. The last time the canopied 50-footer made an appearance during Desert Storm, it was called JBS Racing and was owned by offshore racer Jeff Stevenson.
“We will do an exhibition pass in both boats,” said Win Farnsworth. “We will have both boats at the street party. I would like to run both boats in the poker run, but it may just be Silver Lining. We will also run both boats in the shootout.”
Jon Roth is brining two aces to the event—his Skater Powerboats 388 catamaran that ran 197 mph during the 2014 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri, and John Tomlinson, the guy who ran it to that speed.
At this point, the much-awaited Pure Platinum, the breathtaking Skater 388 catamaran debuted during last month’s Miami International Boat Show, is a definite maybe for the event.
“We are testing next week,” Bill Pyburn Jr., the owner of the boat, told speedonthewater.com. “I will have a better idea after that.”
Like everyone else headed to the late-April event, we have our fingers crossed for Pure Platinum. The 38-footer reportedly sets a new bar for “custom” and we can’t wait to see it in action. But even if it’s not ready to go, the 2015 Desert Storm Poker Run fleet definitely won’t disappoint.