Once purely local happenings, grassroots-based events such as the Buffalo and Boyne Thunder Poker Runs, the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, the Texas Outlaw Challenge and the Old Hickory Fun Run are now some of the hottest tickets in the go-fast boating world. This fact takes nothing away from the iconic events put on by full-time professional organizers such as Poker Runs America’s 1,000 Islands Poker Run and the Key West Poker Run handled by the Florida Powerboat Club, which are simply epic, and should be at or near the top of the list of performance-boating events to do before you die or—in a less final departure—move on to enjoy another hobby.
Still, homegrown events remain hot and are getting hotter and not just with local go-fast boat owners, but with owners willing to haul their catamarans and V-bottoms hundreds and even thousands of miles for something different. And “different” doesn’t necessarily mean “exotic” in terms of destination. Neither Buffalo, N.Y., nor Erie, Pa., qualify as exotic, and yet Buffalo continues to grow and in its first year Erie is already sold out. (The common denominator there is Anthony Scioli, a charismatic young poker run organizer who brings a service-oriented approach to every aspect of his events.)
Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix