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Tiki Lee’s Midnight Express Crew Wins Miami Boat Show Poker Run And Sexiest Crew Award

When Tiki Lee’s Dock Bar owner David Carey opted to bring his new 37-foot Midnight Express Boats center console powered by quad Mercury Racing 450R engines to last week’s Florida Powerboat Club Miami Boat Show Poker Run, he had two goals in mind. First, have fun. And second, promote the heck out of the inaugural Tiki Lee’s Shootout on the River coming to the Maryland-based establishment in early July.

David Carey and the Tiki Lee’s crew had a blast participating in the Miami Boat Show Poker Run in Carey’s 37-foot Midnight Express powered by four Mercury Racing 450R engines. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

He accomplished both of those goals and then some as he earned the President’s Choice Award for Sexiest Crew (pictured are two of the worthy crewmembers) and ended up with the winning poker hand, taking home a new Garmin GPS. Even better though, according to Carey, was the fact that he garnered not only attention but commitments from several industry notables, such as Rusty Williams of Performance Boat Center, that they plan to attend the event, which is scheduled for July 8-11.

“Going to the poker run was definitely worth it,” Carey said. “Everyone on the boat and in our booth had a great time. I learned several things from an event organizing standpoint. I’m even thinking about adding a demo day to the Shootout On The River similar to what Stu (Jones, founder of the Florida Powerboat Club) did at Gilbert’s in Key Largo. I think that could be very beneficial. And the best part is that I don’t have to coordinate anything extra to make that happen because I own the establishment.”

Carey, who has owned two Midnight Express models and has a third one coming at the end of this year, said he’s itching to do the event and showcase what Chesapeake Bay boating is all about.

“I have a feeling we’re going to draw participants from all across the country,” Carey added. “I’ve already received commitments from boaters who are coming from Florida and Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. The boating out this way is incredible and we are ready to highlight it. The head of tourism in Baltimore County is behind us and we’re focused on making every aspect of the event a true boater friendly experience. It’s also going to be very spectator friendly.”

At the moment, Carey and company are making final determinations as to how the shootout portion of the event— a three-quarter-mile top-speed contest sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association and the Offshore Powerboat Association—is going to be ran. A majority of the poker run details as well as the entertainment—an exhibition air show, bikini contests, live bands and more—have been nailed down.

The Midnight Express display at the docks of Gilbert’s Resort was impressive. Photo by Pete Boden, above image courtesy David Carey.

Registration for the event opened yesterday (February 26). Be sure to check the event website for even more details and keep an eye out for more stories leading up the to the inaugural event on speedonthewater.com.

Carey said registration for the poker run and shootout begins on February 26 and that proceeds from the event are going to benefit several charitable organizations. He also added that sponsorship opportunities are available and that there is a sponsor form on the website to complete for anyone interested.

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