As I was sat at my desk yesterday afternoon and made plans for the trip down to Richmond, Va., on Friday morning to cover the Jammin’ on the James Poker Run for speedonthewater.com, I thought it would be a good time to get an update on the event. So I called Mark Shackelford, president of the Richmond Powerboat Association, the local group of performance-boat enthusiasts that organizes the event.
Shackleford said that his phone had been ringing off the hook nonstop for the past three days and was excited to host what has become one of the most popular poker runs on the East Coast. If you’ve never done it, you’re missing a great time. And if you have done it, then you want to go back year after year for some good old Southern Hospitality.
The biggest changes for this year’s event are the Friday night activities. They have moved from Jordan Point to Appomattox Small Boat Harbor, where the owner has given us full run of the marina to throw what looks to be a great kick-off party. If you attended the winter party back in January, you’ll remember the band Crazy-X that put on a great show and have returned to entertain all of us on Friday night.
Not only will there be a band, but the great folks of RPA are providing us with hamburgers, hot dogs, barbeque and—of course—three kegs of beer. One point that Shackleford made clear during out chat is that you can bring alcohol in a container off of your boat into the party.
The band kicks off at 6 p.m. with the captains’ meeting an hour later. Once the meeting is over, the band gets back up on stage and the party begins. Shackleford did say, however, that he’d like to wrap things up a little early on Friday because Saturday will be a long day.
The plan for Saturday morning will be to pull out of the harbor at 9 a.m. as the first group heads toward Jordan Point. Shackleford referred to this run as being similar to running through the mangroves down in Florida. The boats will regroup at the bridge by Jordan Point for the official start of the poker run, and then it’s game on from there.
Editor’s Note: Yowaiski will provide updates of Jammin’ on the James on speedonthewater.com as the event progresses.