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HomeEvent CoverageIsland-Hopping At The Seventh Annual Arendal Poker Run In Norway

Island-Hopping At The Seventh Annual Arendal Poker Run In Norway

Thanks to everyone involved in organizing Arendal Poker Run—including dedicated Norwegian performance boater Nicolay Rylander, who has diligently kept speedonthewater.com up to date with all things involving the poker run in Arendal, Norway, the past couple of years—there’s a lot of buzz surrounding the event, which celebrated its seventh anniversary in late June.


The incredible Predator Luxury Performance Boats 447-R V-bottom powered by twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines, was one of the largest boats in the Arendal Poker Run. All photos courtesy Bjorn Oyvind Hoff

According to Rylander, there are already more than 50 boats committed to the 2020 event, and it maxes out around 70 boats for capacity reasons.

“We have our loyal participants, of course, but we’ve also heard from people in Sweden and Denmark who are planning to join us next year,” said Rylander, who drove a Goldfish Professional M12 rigid inflatable boat in the run and shared the cool video from the event (at right). “The 2019 poker run turned out to be a fantastic event with close to 400 people attending. Friday was the registration day with boats traveling by land and sea from across Norway. The docks went from zero boats that morning to about 50 later in the day, with the rest of the participants showing up Saturday morning. Friday night included a large but calm get together dinner, which provided a good way for fellow poker run enthusiasts to catch up or meet each other.”

Rylander said Saturday’s festivities began in the harbor with breakfast followed by the start at 10 a.m.

“We left the harbor with clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine,” he said. “The boats took off in different groups—the first group was boats that ran up to 60 mph, the second group was boats that ran from 60 to 70 mph, and the last group was for boats that are faster than 70 mph. We drove to Grimstad for our first card, then we headed toward Lillesand with a fast run with a helicopter photo session before driving in behind the small islands that the southern coast of Norway has to offer. This is a fantastic route that offers high-speed intervals and sessions combined with low-speed, breathtaking views and a change for the passengers who enjoyed listening to music, basking in the sun and consuming a cold, special-edition, high-octane-fuel beer.”

Check out the slideshow above for more images from the 2019 Arendal Poker Run.

Yes, the poker has its own private-labeled beer made special for the event.

“After leaving Lillesand for the second card, we drove back to Grimstad with an open water trip and another great helicopter filming session,” Rylander explained. “We were greeted with some long waves, which gave the boats nice, comfortable air time. Arriving in Grimstad we drove in between a fantastic old fishing town island, which has about five inhabitants.

“Before arriving to our lunch stop, I got a message on our intercom system that the blue turbine-powered Nor-Tech catamaran had some trouble and the local rescue boat was on its way toward the boat,” he continued. “About two minutes later I got reports from our rescue crew that the boat had lost one of its surface drives and was taking on water rapidly through a large hole in the boat. Fortunately the rescue boat arrived in time to save the Nor-Tech from sinking. Thanks to our fantastic rescue crew and our continuous effort to make these events safe, nobody was hurt and the boat was rescued. Afterward the poker run donated $1,500 to the local rescue organization.”

Rylander said the lunch stop offered fantastic food, live music and lots of relaxing talks in the sun—that bright beacon in the sky that Norwegians don’t see much of for most of the year—and that the fun continued back at the harbor that evening.

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