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Pirates Of Lanier Poker Run Ramping Up For Record Fleet

In what will likely end up as the biggest—at least in terms of fleet size and money raised for charity—go-fast boating event of the year, the annual Pirates of Lanier Poker Run weekend kicked off today with a “Cheeseburger in Paradise” lunch-and-fun hosted by Norman’s Landing on Georgia’s Lake Lanier. Today’s event attracted somewhere between 75 and 200 boats, though not all the vessels that showed up were part of the fun run fleet, depending on the source reporting.


Joined by his crew, Mark Godsey brought his 38-foot MTI cat to the event.

Tomorrow’s poker run may well top the 300-boat mark, which also means that, at least in terms of the sheer number of participants, the organizers will have a great chance to reach their $400,000 fundraising goal for local charities.

“This lake is large enough to handle it,” said Bob Christie, who brought his 42-foot Cigarette V-bottom powered by twin Mercury Racing 1100 engines all the way from New Jersey for the Lake Lanier event, which is based in Buford, Ga. “We were completely comfortable running with the fleet today for the fun run—it was no problem.


Among the boats in today’s lunch run was this Cigarette 42 X owned by Bob Christie.

“Some people last night we’re even talking about it maybe reaching 400 boats,” he added. “They’re expecting a lot more boats to come in today.”

Tomorrow’s poker run will start in five speed-bracketed waves. According to Pier 57 Marine’s Scott Sjogren, who is riding with his customer Mark Godsey in Godsey’s 38-foot Marine Technology, Inc., catamaran with a pair of 1,100-hp Mercury Racing engines, the fleet is as diverse as they come.

“There’s everything here from ski-boats to big cats—it’s just phenomenal,” he said. “The food at the lunch run was great, and even with today’s light rain they had a good turnout. (Organizer) John Woodruff does a such an amazing job.”


The Pirates of Lanier Poker Run welcomes vessels of all unusual shapes and sizes.

Editor’s Note: Look for another report on the Pirates of Lanier Poker Run on speedonthewater.com tomorrow.

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