For the second and final day of last weekend’s Florida Powerboat Club Orange Beach Powerboat Week Poker Run in Alabama, the Gulf of Mexico waters laid down a bit. The four- to six-footers that led most of the Friday fleet to head for the calm waters of the Intracoastal Waterway dropped to three- to five-footers for the Saturday leg. But that didn’t mean a few boats didn’t take to the skies again, most notably the 32-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran dubbed Mavrik and owned by Jeff Trimble of Texas.
And the 2023 Orange Beach Powerboat Club Orange Powerboat Week big-air award goes to Jeff Trimble and company in Mavrick. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“The water was a little on the sporty side, but Mavrik did awesome thanks to Skater and Sterling Performance Engines,” Trimble said. “The run was really fun—(Florida Powerboat Club head) Stu Jones always puts on a great event.”
In the end, the Florida Powerboat Club fleet had 45 boats in the mix with a healthy contingent of V-bottom sportboats in the mix. The rest of the fleet was rounded out by center consoles and catamarans.
For those who wanted smoother water, the Intracoastal Waterway delivered.
In light of the sporty conditions, Jones cut the poker run course from its original 110 miles to 65 miles. Rather than tackle the rough water in the Gulf of Mexico as originally planned for the return leg, most of the poker run groups headed back to the Intracoastal Waterway.
“Overall, conditions were better than those on Friday but most teams took the protected route,” Jones said. “But about five teams did brave the choppy seas.
“By 12:30 p.m., most of the poker run teams had made it to one of six popular lunch stop locations that were offered on the course map, while the Favre family hosted their invitational sponsor lunch for about 10 poker run teams and 60 guests,” he continued. “On Saturday afternoon, all of the activities culminated with a buyout function at Dick’s Last Resort—the largest restaurant at The Wharf—with about 160 guests in attendance.”
Several Florida Powerboat Club members opted for rougher water in the Gulf of Mexico.
Jones and his wife, Jackie, are on hiatus from producing large-fleet, domestic poker runs until their Emerald Coast event, which is set for September 20-24 in Destin, Fla. Between now and then, they have a couple of smaller-group treks to the Bahamas and a poker run tour of their own, which will take them to events around the country.
Said high-performance marine insurance man Devin Wozencraft, who launched his own 2023 event tour with the last weekend’s happening, “Orange Beach is one of the nicest boating communities on the Gulf Coast. When you mention that to locals they usually smile and say, ‘Don’t tell anyone.’ I look forward to returning next year.”
With the Orange Beach Powerboat Week event behind them, Stu and Jackie Jones will embark on a poker run tour of their own this summer in their Top Gun Flight 1130 Cigarette sportboat.
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