As corny as it might sound, the Boyne Thunder Poker Run gets better each and every year. That much was obvious in mid-July when hundreds of performance boaters flocked to Boyne City, Mich., for the 15th annual affair that has continued to raise a significant amount of money for local charities.
Owners of this sweet Cigarette Racing Team 38’ Top Gun, Mike and Christine Hudok enjoyed running with their friends in this year’s Boyne Thunder Poker Run. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix. Download the new digital magazine to read more.
It helped that both the weather and water conditions—at least on Saturday during the poker run—were excellent this year. There still were some bumpy spots, most of which were wakes from cruiser and other boats, here and there on Lake Michigan, but compared to the past few years, the expansive lake was as calm as it gets. Seriously, at most points between the channel that connects Lake Michigan and Charlevoix’s Round Lake and the first two stops of the run at Northport and Elk Rapids, the water was as glass-like as it gets for the third largest lake of the five Great Lakes.
Participants were greeted with a couple of miles of dense fog on their way south to the first stop, but once that burned off the conditions were ideal to stretch out their boats.
“I honestly couldn’t believe how smooth it was out there,” said Dan Kleitz of Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats who was running customer Dave Burgess’ SL 41 powered by triple Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Lake Michigan so flat. I should have brought my new 29 out here, it is that nice.”
Longtime Boyne Thunder participant and Michigan native Todd Fountain agreed. Fountain, who owns Tom Cat, a 46-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran, said he was actually surprised at how nice the water was for the poker run.