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Small Boats, Big Fun Reign At Keys Island Runners Sandbar Event

For go-fast boat enthusiasts in Key Largo, Fla., this weekend, the Florida Powerboat Club’s Miami Boat Show Poker Run wasn’t the only game in town. Just around the corner from the FPC’s weekend headquarters at the Autograph Collection Playa Largo Resort and the Hilton Curio Collection Bakers Cay Resort, a 50-plus-boat fleet from the Florida Keys-based Keys Island Runners group descended on Islamorada yesterday to hang out at its famed sandbar.

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Yesterday’s Keys Island Runners event attracted an assortment of small high-performance catamarans and V-bottoms (click image to enlarge). Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Having captured the Thursday and Friday fleets en route to their Key Largo desinations for the FPC event, speedonthewater.com chief photographer Pete Boden stuck around—and grabbed a helicopter ride—to shoot the Keys Island Runners event.

According to its Instagram account, “Keys Island Runners is a locally founded organization consisting of fellow boating enthusiasts. Keys Island Runner hosts local Florida Keys events on the water such as the ‘Fun Run’ with local vendors and local businesses, funded entirely by donations from its members, its sponsors and its founder, Daniel Garcia, III, all for us boat lovers.”

When Garcia, who lives in Key West and is a power company lineman, first launched the Instagram page in April 2018, he had no idea that in two years it would garner 18,000 followers. He just wanted to form an event group for locals in the Keys who own smaller, predominantly outboard engine-powered go-fast boats. Garcia owns a 24-foot, outboard-equipped Progression V-bottom. He and his Florida Keys boating friends used to tackle FPC events, but they wanted something of their own.

Check out the slideshow above to enjoy more images from the 2020 Keys Island Runners Islamorada Sandbar event.

This year, Garcia is planning to have five events through Keys Island Runners, including a pair of poker runs.

“There are a bunch of like-minded performance boaters with small speedboats in the Keys, but we didn’t have an organization of our own,” he said. “As soon as I launched the Instagram page, it started blowing up—we’ve been getting 1,000 new followers a month.

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Keys Island Runners plans to host four more events in 2020 in addition to this weekend’s happening (click image to enlarge).

“I had no idea what it was going to become,” he added. “I’m learning as I go along.”

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