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HomeEvent CoveragePhoto Essay: Looking Back At Norway’s ‘Spectacular’ Arendal Poker Run

Photo Essay: Looking Back At Norway’s ‘Spectacular’ Arendal Poker Run

A little more than a month ago, more than 80 boats descended on Arendal Harbour in Norway for the 10th annual Arendal Poker Run hosted by the Neptun PowerBoatClub and, according to club president Rune Høgevoll and his fellow event organizer, Nicolay Rylander, the entire weekend provided an incredible opportunity to celebrate the 10th anniversary.

Participants in the 10th annual Arendal Poker Run in Norway enjoyed great water, weather and camaraderie. Photos courtesy Bjørn Øyvind Hoff/Arendal Poker Run

Both Høgevoll and Rylander said they were lucky to host a few well-known guests who made the lengthy trip from the Unites States, such as Stu and Jackie Jones from the Florida Powerboat Club and Trond Schou, one of the owners of Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats in Cape Coral, Fla. They also admitted they lucked out with the weather this year. In fact, it was one of the weather was one of the positives Stu Jones pointed out during an interview following the poker run.

“This event is amazing,” said Stu Jones, who rode in a Goldfish M12 RIB powered by triple Mercury Racing 400R engines and owned by FPC member Abe Abrahamsen (below, left), who also owns a 52-foot MTI catamaran with twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines. “The boating is spectacular. I never imagined how beautiful it would be here. We got lucky on the weather, the temperature was perfect, although we did get a little fog. The checkpoints were fun and I was amazed at how many spectators were out there.”

Abe Abrahamsen hosted Florida Powerboat Club president aboard his Goldfish M12 RIB. Photo courtesy Nicolay Rylander

Both Stu and Jackie Jones said they had a great time and that they would happily make the trip back to Norway for a future event.

“On Friday, several of the participants made a fast drive to an island just outside Arendal for lunch in the stunning weather,” Rylander explained. “After lunch and after making sure everybody had a nice tan—or sun burn—everyone returned to the Arendal Harbour. There we joined an invitation-only event for boat owners and listened to Stu talk about starting the Florida Powerboat Club. It was an interesting story for sure. Afterward, we had the captains’ meeting with Rune, followed by the ‘shrimp party’ with plenty of shrimp and beer.”

The next morning started off a little cloudy as the drivers and their crew left Arendal for a stop in Lillesand.

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

“The moment we got out on the open waters the sun popped out making it an even greater day,” Rylander said. “After a fun route to the first card stop, we headed out to open waters with the helicopter giving chase to capture photos and video. I think Rune designed a fantastic route this year with some open-water, full-throttle parts, and some idle-speed driving with great atmospheres, lots of music and people having fun.”

Nearing the end of the day, the group returned to Arendal Harbour and enjoyed a special “Kodus rave cocktail afterparty,” as Rylander called it, with live drums, a saxophonist and a DJ going from boat to boat. After a few hours, the awards dinner began and the poker run hands were played. The lucky winner, who owns a Formula Boats 382 FAS3Tech V-bottom, drove away with the grand prize, a new pickup truck. Other winners donated their prize money to the local rescue service and the party continued throughout the evening and well past midnight, which is when organizers opened up the champagne to celebrate Jackie Jones’ birthday.

“We all thank Rune for putting on a fantastic event—he busts his ass getting this together and makes sure the event is run in a safe and good way,” Rylander said. “It can always be better, but with 10 years under his belt this guy knows how to host the largest poker run in Europe.”

And, according to Rylander, the organizers can’t wait to do it all again next year.

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