Given all the well-established go-fast boating events each summer, it can take a few years for a new one to catch on. Word of mouth goes a long way and moves quickly in the community of performance-boating enthusiasts, but building momentum for any event takes time.
Friday’s Unleashed Poker Run had an array of catamarans in the 100-boat mix. Photos courtesy Kris Wesenhagen copyright KKJ Media
Last Friday’s Unleashed Poker Run on the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta in Northern California is the perfect example of an event that—in its third year—has arrived. The sold-out event attracted 100 boats—up substantially from the 70-boat turnout in 2021—and 350 participants taken care of by 30 volunteers, all to benefit the Stockton, Calif.-based Animal Protection League. In addition to supporting spay and neuter programs, the organization provides community outreach programs and care for the pets of the homeless.
Dan Bouchard, the president and chief executive officer of the Animal Protection League and his wife, Emily, enjoyed the event with Dale Rayzor and Lisa Molls in Rayzor’s 36-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran called Relentless.
“We crushed it,” Bouchard said, then chuckled. “We’re getting pretty good at it now. We are still shaking out the numbers but there should be $130,000 going toward the Stockton Animal Protection League and the community it serves.”
Thanks to Dale Rayzor and Lisa Molls, Dan and Emily Bouchard had an excellent ride for the day.
Among the participants last weekend were Cherilyn and Josh Noack of Southern California-based Teague Custom Marine, which was one of the event’s sponsors. The Teagues have a second home in Discovery Bay, a gateway waterfront community to the Delta, and Teague Custom Marine is the title sponsor of the Big Cat Poker Run, which will happen August 11-13 on the popular waterway.
Though the organizers offered two different multi-stop courses, one for participants who wanted to run up to 60 mph and one for those who wanted to run more than 60 mph, both ended at Windmill Cove for a celebration and awards ceremony.
Enjoy more images from the third annual Unleashed Poker Run.
“We had a lot of customers participate,” said Cherilyn Noack, who was joined by her husband and their two sons, Cru and Nixon, in Sweat Equity, their 26-foot Adrenaline Savage catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 300R outboard engines. “(This event) is enjoyable because we get to come and enjoy it more as participants. My parents had their Skater out and they had Terry and Debbie Finnegan of the Discovery Bay Lions Club on board.”
“We did do a sponsorship for the second time this year, but we don’t do much behind the scenes to put on the event, which is very much in contrast to the Big Cat Poker Run,” she continued. “The team from the Stockton Animal Protection League did a great job. All of the stops were very accommodating and it seemed like they had a lot of sponsors on board, a lot of participants and lots of good prizes.”
As they often do, the Teagues and Noacks made the event into a family affair.
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