Chris Fisher, one of the organizers of last weekend’s third annual Lake Champlain Poker Run in Burlington, Vermont, is instantly likable. He’s also refreshingly direct. Here’s why I say this:
On Thursday night before the run, I was enjoying pre-dinner drinks at a hotel bar with Fisher and his wife, Christy, fellow event organizer Brian Hoar and his wife, Sandy, participants Ken and Renee Lalonde, high-performance insurance man and sponsor Devin Wozencraft and a few other folks whose names—all apologies—escape me.
After introducing ourselves to one another and exchanging pleasantries, Fisher posed a question.
Two nights before the Lake Champlain Poker Run, strangers became friends and longtime friends renewed acquaintances. Photos by Devin Wozencraft copyright Wozencraft Insurance Agency.
“You came all the way out here from California to cover our little poker run,” he said “Why?’
“Because it’s not Florida,” I responded.
I was hoping for a laugh. I didn’t get one.
Instead, my new friend tilted his head and looked at me as if I were speaking in tongues. Clearly, that answer was not cutting it for him.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love poker runs in Florida and I’ve covered a lot of them,” I explained. “But I love places and events are new to me more and I want to share them with our readers. I was just in Skaterfest in Michigan last weekend. I’d never been. It was incredible.
Enjoy mores of the faces of the 2021 Champlain Poker Run in the slideshow above.
“One of my goals this year is to cover events I’ve never covered in person before,” I added.
The following day as my 23-year-old daughter, Anna Rose and her boyfriend, David Rowe and I idled out of the Burlington Harbor Marina with Wozencraft in his 30-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran for a lunch run to Indian Bay, which is across the lake and in New York, I recounted the experience to our host. We started talking, and he asked me what I think makes a given high-performance boating event special.
“That’s easy,” I said. “People, environment and hardware—in that order. And hardware is a distant third.”
Wozencraft grinned and nodded. “You know what?” he said. “Same here.”
The Vermont event delivered those three elements in abundance and much, much more. So enjoy the faces of the Lake Champlain Poker Run, courtesy of Devin Wozencraft through his iPhone, otherwise known as the Wozen-Phone.
Lord knows I know did.
(From left) For the author, engaging people such as Seabound Yachts’ Jeremy Cohen and insurance main Devin Wozencraft make the biggest difference in any given boating event.