If you want a close-up view of the world’s finest high-performance pleasure boats from Cigarette, Marine Technology, Inc., Outerlimits, Skater and the like during the annual Super Boat International Key West Offshore World Championships, you head to the docks in front of the Florida Powerboat Club’s Poker Run Village next to the Conch Republic restaurant. If you want to check out the top domestic raceboats such as Miss GEICO, WHM Motorsports, Stihl, Snowy Mountain Brewery and more, you head to the dry pits in Truman Annex—or just watch the races on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
But if you want to people watch, you head to Duval Street on Friday night, where the throngs on watering hole-filled street grow to epic proportions thanks to the annual Raceboat Parade and Display that runs right down the center of it. Members of the participating teams hang out on or in front of their boats for much of early evening, and they’re more than happy to chat with everyone from hardcore offshore racing to folks who just happen to be in the Florida Keys on the last big weekend—arguably the biggest weekend—in the high-performance powerboating season.
Frequent visitors call it “the Duval crawl,” and it’s an elbow-to-elbow scene not suited to those who need a lot of personal space. With the SBI Key West Worlds and FPC Key West Poker Run less than a month away, we thought this might be a great time to revisit it—courtesy of photographer Jay Nichols, who will capture the event once again this year.