If you’ve ever driven a powerboat in a poker run can, you relate to the photo below. Dealing with a jumble of wakes and sea conditions with other boats running nearby and turning with the pack can test your driving skill and nerves. It’s never boring—that’s for sure—and it’s not as easy as it looks.
From the air, as this Jay Nichols image from the 13th Annual Leverick Bay Poker Run about a week ago in the British Virgin Islands reveals, a pack of powerboats turning looks like the complicated dance of vectors it really is. But the arcs of white wakes left on deep blue water are simple and stunning.
“The poker run starts in North Sound, Virgin Gorda,” said Nichols. “As the pace boat drops the flag, the boats head into the William Drake Channel on the way to Scrub Island for the first card stop. Team Predator (top center in the image) was the paceboat this year. And check out the plane in the upper right.”
After shooting the beginning of the run from the air, Nichols spent most of the day shooting from Bob Barnhardt’s Team Predator Nor-Tech V-bottom. Said Nichols, who was hired to shoot the event by the organizers and got to experience the run from the air and the water, “It was one of the best days I’ve ever had.”