VOL 18#1 WINTER 2018 - MIAMI BOAT SHOW EDITION
A MAGAZINE SHOWCASING THE FLORIDA POWERBOAT CLUB LIFESTYLE
KEY WEST POKER RUN Celebrating 25 Years With
180 Boat Roster!
FPC SAFETY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM! Life saving rescue in Biscayne Bay!
WINTER POKER RUN Sneak Peek at Key Largo Winter Escape!
TRIBUTE TO JOE SGRO
Marine Industry Suffers Huge Loss
Say Hi to the FPC Girls at the Miami Boat Show Poker Run
HANDCRAFTED PERFECTION Mercury Racing props are designed to maximize boat performance and handling in any application, from pleasure boating and fishing to poker runs and competition racing. Artisans handcraft each propeller to precision-tuned works of art, customized for specific boat types and performance goals. Each individual propeller is then zero balanced and measured to ensure consistent performance every single time. Visit mercuryracing.com/propellers for more information on our complete line of high performance outboard and sterndrive propellers.
ÂŠ2016 MERCURY MARINE. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All other trademarks belong to the Brunswick Corporation.
A Magazine Showcasing The Florida Powerboat Club Lifestyle WINTER 2018 Vol. 18#1
EDITOR/PUBLISHER Stu Jones email@example.com
Tracey Gutierrez firstname.lastname@example.org
4 LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Stu Jones for the first time in FPC history has trouble finding the words to express the emotions of a recent tragedy on the Key West Poker Run.
8 KEY WEST POKER RUN 2017
After 25 years as FPC's Signature event, over 180 powerboat and sponsor teams embarked on the epic rally from Miami to Key West.
10 WEDNESDAY POKER RUN
Lina Montes email@example.com
Getting the jump on the pack with an earlier departure day gave 34 poker run teams a nice ride to Key West and an extra day of fun in the sun.
24 THURSDAY POKER RUN
62 KEY WEST POKER RUN VILLAGE
66 SPONSORS APPRECIATION PARTY
70 SATURDAY FUN RUN
80 SATURDAY NIGHT BASH
Jerry Wyszatycki Stu Jones
EVENT MANAGEMENT Jackie Jones firstname.lastname@example.org
VIDEO PRODUCTION Stu Jones David Steel Ryan McCoy Mike Frenden Travis Nellem Joe Kotrady
DIRECT ALL INQUIRIES TO Florida Powerboat Club 1214 SW 6th St. Pompano Beach, FL 33069 Tel: 954.545-1414 Fax: 954.782-2452 www.FLPOWERBOAT.com
POMPANO OFFICE HOURS Monday - Friday 10 AM - 5 PM
If you like "big" poker runs, this is the day for you! But rest assured, the docks will be crowded, the food lines may be long, and someone is definitely getting missed by the chopper! This landmark Conch Republic Seafood Co. display village has long been the heartbeat of the Key West Poker Run. Get a sneak peak of the sponsor dock with all its amazing high performance hardware. The support that comes from Key West Poker Run sponsors is instrumental in this event's continued success. No better way to salute the sponsors, than dedicating an entire day and a great party to introduce them! You can't have a great poker run without a great raftup party. But with high winds and choppy waters in every direction, it was time to find a new anchorage! With 800 hungry and thirsty poker runners, you've got to have a good catering team to feed the hungry mob, and some pretty dealers to play out those 180 poker hands.
86 SAFETY MANAGEMENT UPDATE
Just a few months before the FPC Safety Management program reaches its fifth year in operation, the FWC & MDFR execute on their call of duty, by rescuing an injured boater.
92 WINTER POKER RUN SNEAK PEAK
January kicked off the 2018 FPC event calendar with sixteen teams heading south to Key Largo. Here's a glance of the highlights!
COVER GIRLS: On The Cover: Dozens of poker run teams launched out of FPC Pompano Beach Headquarters All copyright laws apply. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the expressed written permission of the publisher Traveling? Need to lighten the load? Enjoy the digital version of this issue of Powerboating in Paradise Magazine on...
Haulover Marine Center for Thursday Key West departure. Those lovely FPC girls has some fun in the sun, doing photo shoots at the Key West sponsor dock. https://www.facebook.com/flpowerboat https://www.youtube.com/user/FLpowerboatClub
SEE THE COMPLETE DIGITAL EDITION OF POWERBOATING IN PARADISE MAGAZINE AT WWW.FLPOWERBOAT.COM
FROM THE PRESIDENT I
t’s a rare occasion for me to sit idle in front of my laptop, as I begin to write my quarterly Letter from the President for the opening pages of Powerboating in Paradise Magazine. In fact, it’s usually quite the opposite… as I would typically gather my thoughts on the many experiences over the few most recent months with FPC, and then calculate mathematically how I will possibly recap all the highlights in a single page of text! But somehow, it always comes together in 600 words or less, and I exhale as I sign off at the bottom. This time however, is different. This time, the ritual that I have enjoyed dozens of times since our very first magazine issue in 1999, is more like a chore…. because the creative juices just don’t flow when your mind is numb, and your thoughts are still blanketed in a haze. As we started into the 25th running of the Key West Poker Run, I couldn’t help but realize it was the first time in 25 years, that I wouldn’t be staging the poker run with my good friend Larry Goldman alongside. The man and friend, that helped me organize the very first poker run at Sunny Isles Marina in 1991, then create the Florida Powerboat Club in 1993…became an integral part of our organization and my life for well over two decades. Fittingly, I dedicated the 25th Key West Poker Run in the Memory of Larry Goldman, and it just wasn’t the same without him. The late Larry Goldman
But the spotlight on Larry and the celebration of his life, took a turn in another direction, as a poker run accident on the Thursday run resulted in the tragic loss of one of our very own FPC members, Joe Sgro. While Joe and
Larry were two very different personalities, from different walks of life, the similarities in their lives were also evident. Both, powerboat racers who had years of experience and were known throughout the global boating community… on both the poker run and the racing side of the sport. Both, were family men, with loving wives and children…. Joe with six, Larry with two. Both, with so much energy, so much to live for…and both enjoying what they loved…. Powerboating, competition, and the adrenaline rush of speed. Both were taken far too soon…Larry at 58 years and Joe at 63 years young. The late Joe Sgro
It’s incredibly difficult to mix the emotions of tragedy and the sadness it brings, along with the celebration of reaching a 25-year milestone on our FPC’s signature poker run event. So, as you read through the pages of this issue, which is dedicated entirely to feature coverage of the Key West Poker Run… don’t be afraid to smile. Don’t be afraid to say…” WOW ...that’s awesome!” Don’t be afraid to tell your friends, “Hey there’s my boat. That’s us on the Key West Poker Run!!” Knowing Larry Goldman and Joe Sgro as many of us have for several years…we all know damn well, that these two men were passionate about this sport more than any of us. Joe and Larry would insist that we “celebrate” the sport as they have for most of their lives. So please do what I do, as you leaf through the pages of this issue and think back over the two-plus decades that brought us to this momentous 25th Key West anniversary…Remember that these gentlemen have been right there with us along the way. Stu Jones - President & Founder
4 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
POWERBOATING IN PARADISE | 7
A NOV EMBER
THE 25TH RUNNING OF THE KEY WEST POKER RUN PROVIDED A ROLLER COASTER RIDE OF HIGHS AND LOWS FOR A THOUSAND PARTICIPANTS, MAKING IT AN EVENT THAT WILL BE REMEMBERED BY MANY FOR A LIFETIME. WORDS BY STU JONES
he Key West Poker Run 2017 reached a milestone for the Florida Powerboat Club, as participation numbers WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY BY STU JONES approached 185 registered teams and 1,000 participants, while logging its 25th year in operation. But just two days into the festivities, tragedy on the Thursday run cast a dark shadow over the event, as performance industry leader Joe Sgro perished in an unexplained rollover accident, making it difficult for participants and organizers alike, to savor the success of this very special occasion. On page 90 we pay tribute to Joe, who took the helm of Outerlimits Powerboats in 2014 soon after the company’s founder Mike Fiore, perished in Missouri, from injuries sustained in a high-speed boating crash. For loyal Outerlimits owners, FPC members and powerboat racers alike, Key West 2017 would go down as an occasion that would always be remembered for its rollercoaster ride of highs, and lows.
8 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
For the record, in addition to his longtime acquaintance with Joe Sgro, the writer is also the founder of the Florida Powerboat Club, and creator of the Key West Poker Run. I therefore trust, beyond a shadow of doubt, that Joe and his family would not want to “stop the press” and push the Key West anniversary story line off to the side to remain focused on the reporting of this tragic incident. Indeed, the show must go on, and the show DID go on for the next four days, as poker run teams from all over the United States, Canada, and across the Atlantic from France to Norway, celebrated Florida Powerboat Club’s 25th Key West anniversary with a spirit of enthusiasm. It’s an occasion that has become one of the most-anticipated, most-watched, most-photographed, and most-publicized poker runs in the world. How or why the event gained global appeal perhaps has many
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JERRY WYSZATYCKI
origins or explanations, but there appears to be a powerful allure to the Florida powerboating lifestyle and offshore racing in Key West, one that has penetrated countless cultures and nationalities, and spawned an annual pilgrimage for so many to find their way to Key West every November. Sounds deep. Indeed, it is, because it is fueled by a deep passion for a sport that continues to deliver Wow-factor on every front. There are many things that separate the Key West Poker Run from other FPC events and from other poker runs around the nation. It begins with simple math and a few measuring tools that reveal staggering numbers, no matter how you slice the data. Latitude alone makes Key West the Southernmost Poker Run in the nation. Geography and logistics alone can be used to measure a poker run course that easily exceeds 400 miles-bywater, when making the round-trip from North Miami to Key
West and squeezing in a couple of romps around Key West Harbor. This makes Key West by far, one of the longest poker run courses on the national circuit, running for the longest number of years. In the first five years soon after the inaugural 1993 event from Fort Lauderdale, the Key West roster managed to reach 100 boats in a few short years and eventually shot up to an average of 150 participating boats for the next 20 yearsâ€Śeven peaking to over 200 boats on at least a few occasions. And finally, factoring in an average boat crew of six guests registered with every team for all those years (a number that is approaching double digits with the center console craze), the Key West Poker has hosted well over 20,000 guests in its 25 years. For all those passionate participants who have shared in this festive occasionâ€Ś
T h a n k yo u .
POWERBOATING IN PARADISE | 9
W E D N E S DAY, N O V 8
W EDNESDAY poker RUN
FPC MODELS RACHELLE & KAYLA
hen you travel hundreds of miles to take part in a major poker run, it goes without saying you want to get the biggest bang for your buck…and for the time you’ve invested in attending. For the sake of those who feel that way, we added earlier departures to the Key West Poker Run years ago, even as early as Tuesday, for the teams that wanted to be in Key West for the first round of Superboat racing. Eventually Wednesday grew to be more popular, and on a beautiful November day, about 35 teams got an early-bird start from Miami. We still maintained a split departure venue, with the North departure headquartered out of Haulover Marine Center, and the South departure from Grove Harbour Marina. FPC staff provided reservations for poker run teams at nearby hotels for both locations, making it easy for participants to arrive the afternoon prior, get their boats prepped and in the water, and attend a captains meeting the night before. Everything went smoothly on the arrivals and checkins, and the north departure boats were on the water and passing through Haulover Inlet shortly after the schedule 10:30 am start time. The FPC staff had the pleasure of riding with David Burg from Texas on his Midnight Express 43’, powered by quad Mercury 350 Verados. The plush interior and
10 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
WORDS BY STU JONES, PHOTOGRAPHY BY JERRY WYSZATYCKI
smooth ride was much appreciated by the FPC models, Kayla and Rachelle, who exchanged positions between the front lounge to the rear bench, throughout the course of the ride to Marathon. What would have been our usual stopover for lunch at Gilberts in Key Largo, was now changed to Faro Blanco Resort in Marathon, after Hurricane Irma did a number on Gilbert’s docks just two months earlier. It would be several months before Gilberts would be able to acquire permits and a contractor to replace their 500’ face dock, and meanwhile FPC would have to make other plans. It’s about 110 miles from Haulover Inlet on the inside route to Marathon, and 99% of the boats in FPC can make that ride without requiring fuel, so this destination seems to work well for fuel and lunch, when the final destination is Key West.
There was a fine showing of the latest high-performance hardware on the Wednesday run, and for the sake of those who don’t like crowded docks or close quarters on the poker run, this is the best departure choice for the Key West Poker Run. And for those who simply need to maximize their tropical escape, this Wednesday departure offers a five-night program in Key West, and a typically greater selection of the best rooms and dockage. Now, as for the condition of your liver or the 8-10 pounds you (may) gain while on vacation, that’s another subject. But it could be worse…If you were on a cruise ship instead, that would happen anyway! At least on the Key West poker run, you get to DRIVE the boat too! SJ
POWERBOATING IN PARADISE | 11
W E D N E S DAY, N O V 8
JOSEPH & CHRISTINE AMOROSO | NY | Team BADA BING | 44' OUTERLIMITS
DEREK WACHOB | OK | Team BLACK DIAMOND | 52' MTI
DEREK WACHOB | OK | Team PLAN B | 42' CIGARETTE
DEREK WACHOB | OK | Team DIAMOND EXPRESS | 34' MTI
12 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
W E D N E S DAY, N O V 8
JOHN O'LOUGHLIN | NY | Team VENGEFUL | 48' MTI
MICHAEL & NICOLLE PIERCE | LA | Team PURE PLATINUM | 38' SKATER
BEAU AND TIFFINEY RENFROE | GA | Team DIRTY MONEY | 36' SKATER
LOREN PETERS | MO | Team WIDE OPEN | 40' MTI
14 POWERBOATING IN PARADISE |
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W E D N E S DAY, N O V 8
GREG HARRIS | FL | Team MAD PROPS | 32' SKATER
ROBERT LOCKYER | FL | Team SKATER | 32' SKATER
DEVIN WOZENCRAFT | CA | Team WOZENCRAFT | 30' SKATER
DARREN & DANIELLE PETERS | ON | Team STRESS RELIEF | 46' OUTERLIMITS
16 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
TRAVIS REED | MO | Team GET LICKED | 36' SKATER
DR. INO HALEGUA | FL | Team GREECE LIGHTNING | 38' CIGARETTE
JOHN & TRACY WITTENBERGER | NJ | Team ON THE ROCKS | 36' SONIC
CHRIS & JENNIFER GRANT | ON | Team PAIN RELIEF |42' FOUNTAIN
JOHN & MELISSA RIDGEWAY | FL | Team JOINT VENTURE | 36' BAJA
STEPHEN & ASHLEY RAK | CT | Team DOUG WRIGHT| 50' OUTERLIMITS
POWERBOATING IN PARADISE | 17
W E D N E S DAY, N O V 8
DONNIE SNYDER | CT | Team BLUEPRINT | 46' OUTERLIMITS JARED & HEATHER MORRIS | IA | Team SUNSATION POWERBOATS | 34' SUNSATION
ALLEN CHASE | NY | Team CHASE-IN-RAYS | 38' HUSTLER
CHRIS & ANGELA BRADLEY | TX | Team RAINMAKER | 38' SKATER
18 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
W E D N E S DAY, N O V 8
DAVID BURG | TX | Team MIDNIGHT EXPRESS | 43' MIDNIGHT EXPRESS
JIM SCHULTZ | IL | Team FACTORY BILLET | 51' OUTERLIMITS
20 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
W E D N E S DAY, N O V 8
JOSH & TERRI ANNE PIERCE | KS | Team THE ANIMALS | 42' FOUNTAIN
JUSTIN BULTSMA | MI | Team ALMOST ILLEGAL | 38' POWERQUEST
22 POWERBOATING IN PARADISE |
ROGER & PAM ANDERSON | TX | Team EASY MONEY II | 39' NOR-TECH
T H U R S DA Y
POK ER RU N
WORDS BY STU JONES
f there were no challenges for the FPC staff in organizing major poker run events, we probably would all be out of work, or at the very least, we might be extremely bored with our jobs. After twenty five years of organizing the Key West Poker Run, I sometimes find myself telling people that it goes pretty smoothly for the most part, because it’s just like a well-oiled machine. I also have been known to fib a little, it’s a problem that began at the age of five, when I was caught stealing a pack of Life Savers at the drugstore, in plain sight of the cashier, then flatly denied it. Or …telling my Mom it was my brother’s poop that left a skid-mark in my undies. Thankfully, the petty theft and skid-marks went away, but the fibs still come around. Nonetheless, I feel very
24 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
fortunate that many people in the club that see a well-oiled machine when they attend the Key West Poker Run, and I agree, but add that we gave the 2017 event, a seriously huge batch of oil for several weeks before the event. It all began in September just after Hurricane Irma made her unwelcome visit to the Florida Keys. So if you think things ran exceptionally well on the Thursday run, believe me when I say, that our entire agenda eight weeks before the poker run, was an unusual mix of catching curveballs, juggling hot potatoes, and putting out fires. For the Thursday run of the 25th Anniversary event, the biggest challenge was sheer numbers. We had hoped that
AD It was a constant parade of traffic as boats were coming in and out of Grove Harbour Marina to get their first Bonus poker card
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JERRY WYSZATYCKI & NOR-TECH HI PERFORMANCE BOATS
the split between Wednesday and Thursday group attendance would lean more towards the earlier day. For some reason however, we ended up with over 130 boats for the 180-mile romp from Miami to Key West, and we had our hands full! Worse yet, Gilbertâ€™s docks were unusable for rafting or accommodating large crowds of spectators, so we had to get creative with some new lunch stop plans. When it was all figured out, we settled with four lunch spots for the Thursday run, a new record for the Key West Poker Run! We kept Gilberts in the mix, by renting the docks at the Anchorage across the ICW, and paid a boat rental company to run a pontoon shuttle back and forth, as the crews arrived for lunch.
Perfect situationâ€Śand thanks to everyone who decided to give it a try! The 2nd location was the popular Island Fish Co., in Marathon, where about 25 boats can dock at one time, and the food is always fresh, including the local seafood that is one of the highlights of their menu! The Courtyard Marriott in Marathon offered a 3rd dining location, adjacent to the Faro Blanco Resort, where the Lighthouse Grill served up a fabulous buffet lunch for the largest group of Key West participants. All the while, VP Racing Specialty fuels dispensed race and high-octane fuel to the performance boats, and the marina docks stayed busy pumping 90 Rec fuel to dozens of boats, with the landmark white lighthouse ( Faro Blanco) in the backdrop.
POWERBOATING IN PARADISE | 25
T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
It was at the Faro Blanco Resort stopover, that sadly, many witnessed the tragic rollover incident that took the life of Joe Sgro. I address this incident in more detail in my Letter from the President in the opening pages of this issue, and we pay tribute to Joe on page 90 of this same issue. Needless to say, the poker run appeared to be coming along smoothly for this record turnout of 135 boats running through the Keys on the beautiful Thursday, but from this moment forward,
it seemed as though our world had come undone for those of us close to Joe. The remainder of the Thursday run continued, with no further incidents, and as darkness fell on Key West, so too did the realization that we had lost a dear friend, an industry leader, an accomplished boat racer, a respected father and a beloved husband. SJ CHRIS RYDER | NY | Team CRISIS MANAGEMENT | 36' SKATER
JOSEPH CASTELLANA | NY | Team AWESOME MOTORSPORTS | 38' SKATER
26 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
ANTON HOLSTROM | FL | Team SEAPHORIA | 33' POWERPLAY
ED & SUREY GARCIA | FL | Team APACHE PERFORMANCE |41' APACHE
MICHAEL SMITH | CA | Team NORDIC |43' NORDIC
SHANE MULKEY| LA | Team FAST MONEY |44' SKATER
POWERBOATING IN PARADISE | 27
T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
CRAIG HARGREAVES | WA | Team SPOOLED UP |52' MTI
BOB & CHARLENE LADAS | MA | Team MTI-V |42' MTI MTI-V CREW
MARCUS SCHILLING | | Team TEAM GERMANY |38'CIGARETTE MARCUS SCHILLING | GERMANY | Team GERMANY |38' CIGARETTE
FRANCIS MARFYAK | CT | Team YEAH BABY |35' FORMULA
28 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
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T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
TOM GOURZIS | PA | Team OPA |42' CIGARETTE
JERRY MONICAL | TX | Team BEST OF TIMES V |42' MTI
JOE & NIKOLE GILSTORF | MI | Team RATED G |39' NOR-TECH
30 POWERBOATING IN PARADISE |
MIKE & SUSAN PASCOE | GA | Team INSTIGATOR |42' CIGARETTE
LAURIE & JASON MOE | WA | Team HURRY UP!!! | 50' OUTERLIMITS
TONYA & STACHE BLAIR| OK | Team GRAND LAKE'S HCMC | 38' STATEMENT
LAWRENCE COELHO JR| | Team RAPID RABBIT | 28' DCB
POWERBOATING IN PARADISE | 31
T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
H. NEIL & CINDY CAMPBELL | TN | Team BODACIOUS TOO | 42' MYSTIC
MAT GARLAND & KENNY SCHOMP | KY | Team DOWNTOWN1 | 40' SKATER
CHAD & HEATHER COLLIER | TN | TEAM HABITUAL | 44' MYSTIC
32 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
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More than 1,400 boats—in water and on land • Over 1,100 exhibitors • New boat models and product debuts • Demo docks • Marine electronics pavilion NEW for 2018! ONE location for power and sail. We’re welcoming Sail to Miami Marine Stadium—with nearly 100 sailboats and catamarans, plus sailing gear, and rigging, sail travel and charter services and education.
T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
GINO & RENEA GARGIULO | FL | Team SUPER VELOCE | 52'MTI
RICHARD SZESNAT | NY | Team POOR DIRT FARMER |50' OUTERLIMITS
34 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
RICHARD & KRISTIE TSCHIDA | MN | Team TOPLESS |46' OUTERLIMITS
KEN & FAYE MILSTEAD | TX | Team FAST GLASS | 40' SKATER
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TIM & ERIN GALLAGHER | MO | Team MTI | 34' MTI
36 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
TONY DEWAAL & DON DOTY | MI | Team DOUBLE D |40' SKATER
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P o k e r R u n
Florida Powerboat Club’s 3rd Annual
Europe Poker Run Monday, May 14th – Wednesday, May 23rd 2018 $14,789 $15,989 per person, double occupancy
We’re doing it again! Join us in 2018 for another fun PORSCHE tour and Poker Run in THE BLACK FOREST, GERMANY, THE FRENCH RIVIERA, MONACO & SWITZERLAND! • All-inclusive – luxury accommodations, meals, drinks, PORSCHE rental, taxes and gratuities • Seven (7) days of PORSCHE driving: no-speed-limit Autobahns, winding country roads and along the French Riviera • Fun daily poker drawings and prizes • Luxurious European spas, cuisine and fine wine
OPTIONAL VIP PRE-TRIP F1 BARCELONA GRAND PRIX! Friday May 11th – Monday 14th, 2018 Additional - $4,898 per person, double occupancy
Join Stu in this optional extension to the incredible Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona’s a World Class destination on the shores of the Mediterranean and rich in history and culture. We will be staying the in the HEART of this amazing world-renown city with incredible dining and nightlife! Reserve your spot today. Limited space available!
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ERIC & MAGGIE GLASER | FL | Team MIDNIGHT EXPRESS | 43' MIDNIGHT EXPRESS
MIDNIGHT EXPRESS CREW
DAVID & JENNY LANDSMAN | FL | Team MY WAY | 43' MIDNIGHT EXPRESS
38 POWERBOATING IN PARADISE |
T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
ED CHAMPION | MO | Team BIG THUNDER MARINE | 32' BIG THUNDER MARINE
MICHAEL ALEXANDER | NY | Team TJA MOTORSPORTS | 32' SKATER
TOM BEAGLE | MI | Team BAR-NONE | 36' SUNSATION
NEAL & MELINDA DRICKEY| NE Team DIRTBALL EXPRESS | 44' MTI
40 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
Grove Harbour Marina continues to be a host-marina partner and sponsor for the Key West Poker Run, and in spite of recent hurricane Irma damage, the staff rallied to get temporary docks replaced, and still managed to launch and host several teams for the Wednesday and Thursday departures. As always, this is the landmark â€œBonus Poker Card #1â€? pick up location for all teams, who can
42 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
exchange this voucher for an additional playing card to increase their chances of winning. Since this is a touchand-go card exchange, it was Grove Harbour staff that are credited with inventing those push-poles with red boxing gloves, to keep the boats from getting dock rash as they pulled up for their card. We salute the Grove Harbour team for a job well done!
GROUND BREAKING NEWS IN THE GROVE
Grove Harbour Marina is pleased to annnounce exciting expansion plans that include new marine facilities and first class dining on property!
WE REMAIN FULLY OPERATIONAL DURING RENOVATIONS Authorized Mercruiser Service Center
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T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
DON DOTY | MI | Team 1YR SKATER | 42' SKATER
GREG CONNELLY | NH | Team SKATER | 28' SKATER
JORGE & ANN ARELLANO | FL | Team SUNSATION 36 | 36' SUNSATION
RON & JANE MEYERING | MI | Team SLOW BOAT | 39' NOR-TECH
44 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
ANDY IMHOF | MD | Team HOLLOW POINT | 36' APACHE
BRAD HANCOCK | GA | Team ROCK N TACO | 47' NOR-TECH
GEORGE POLILLIO | MA | Team NO DISCIPLINE | 40' OUTERLIMITS
POWERBOATING IN PARADISE | 45
BRETT MANIRE | MO | Team PERFORMANCE BOAT CENTER | 36' WRIGHT PERFORMANCE
ANDREE BAKKEGGARD | NORWAY | Team PREDATOR | 35' PREDATOR
LANE & CHRIS CHRISTIANSON | TX Team FAST LANE | 52' OUTERLIMITS
46 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
MIKE & MAGGIE SANZ | FL | Team BACK IN BLACK AGAIN | 36' DEEP IMPACT
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T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
BRIAN & KAREN CONNELLY | NH | Team NO AGENDA | 47' NOR-TECH
TOM ABRAHAM | NY | Team NOTORIOUS | 42' MTI
MARK TUCK | VA | Team PROVOCATIVE | 44' OUTERLIMITS
48 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
RON LEVY | FL | Team GREEN CARD | 32' CONCEPT
MIKE & HOLLY RIGGS | NC | Team NSF | 38' FOUNTAIN
NOEL & GRETCHEN SPERANZA | FL | Team RETAINAGE | 32' CONCEPT
MARK STODDART | ON | Team MTI | 48' MTI
POWERBOATING IN PARADISE | 49
T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
JOHN O'LOUGHLIN | NY | Team LITTLE VENGEFUL | 34' MTI
EDWARD & AIMY LAGUARDIA | NY | Team DOUG WRIGHT | 32' DOUG WRIGHT
MIKE LOPEZ | IL | Team CIGARETTE RACING | 38' CIGARETTE
GEORGE & CARRE OLSON | TX | Team WORKING ON IT | 42' FOUNTAIN
TOM KLOCKER | OH | Team NO ETA | 42' CIGARETTE
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T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
MARK PALANCHIAN | FL | Team NEXTERA POWER MARKETING | 90' YACHT
JAKE & GINA NOSSAMAN | OK | Team WIRED UP | 48' MTI
DWANE & WENDY HALL | OH | Team OFFSHORE THERAPY | 38' CIGARETTE
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T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
PERFORMANCE BOAT CENTER CREW
BRETT MANIRE | MO | Team PERFORMANCE BOAT CENTER | 41' CIGARETTE
SCOTT & ALLISON STINSON | GA | Team HARD WAYS | 42' MYSTIC ROY JORGENSEN | IN | Team CARPE DIEM | 50'HUSTLER
BRANDON HORROCKS | NY | Team LUCKY 6'S | 42' FOUNTAIN
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JOSEPH STEPHENSON| OH | Team LIKES IT ROUGH | 32' ACTIVE THUNDER
ROCCO & DANIELLE ROCCO | NH | Team TIME CONSCIOUS | 35' STATEMENT
RON & ELAINE LONG | FL | Team ALL NIGHT LONG | 35' STATEMENT
MATT BORCINA | NY | Team MC ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS | 28' SKATER
T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
RAY AQUIT | FL | Team HAMMERTIME | 39' DEEP IMPACT
ED & JACQUIE RACHEL | FL | Team WIDE OPEN | 39' NOR-TECH
WIDE OPEN CREW
HAMMERTIME - SEXIEST CREW AWARD
ANTHONY BERTOZZI | VA | Team SMOKIN HOT | 38' CIGARETTE
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RAY & KRISTINE GREMAUX | NY | Team BIG SHOT | 42' MYSTIC
TROND SCHOU | FL | Team NOR-TECH |56' NOR-TECH
JESSE & STEPHANIE NEUMANN | MN | Team CROSSLAKE CREW | 39' NOR-TECH
DAVE & ELLEN RAISBECK |FL | Team RAISERS EDGE | 39' NOR-TECH
T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
ASBJORN & ABE ABRAHAMSEN | FL | Team TEAM RIVA | 52' MTI
LAURANT BESNIER | FL | Team GROS COCHONS | 32' DOUG WRIGHT
SCOTT & STACY ROSENBACH | IL | Team SUM BEACH | 41' CIGARETTE
SCOTT SJORGEN | IL | Team MYSTIC | 42' MYSTIC
HAL & MISSY JOHNSON | MI | Team SOMETHING'S BREWING | 39' NOR-TECH
VINNIE & KIM DIORIO | WI | Team CAZZO VELOCE | 43' OUTERLIMITS
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CHRIS KINNEY | AR | Team GOING TOPLESS | 38' DONZI
SHAUN & MARY HARRINGTON | MA | Team WATER WITCH | 37' OUTERLIMITS
RICK RIGGLE | OH | Team ROOSTER TAIL | 39' NOR-TECH
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T H U R S DAY, N O V 9
Historically, the Thursday departure for the poker run has exceeded 100 teams for several years, requiring two lunch stop locations to accommodate the large fleet and hungry mob. But 2017 created new challenges, as many waterfront restaurants were either closed, or had sustained dock damage, preventing the multi-boat raft-up scenarios. With some creative planning and help from our Florida Keys event partners, the first-ever, four- location format was introduced for the 135-boat Thursday run. Gilberts in Key Largo, with docking at the nearby Anchorage and a pontoon shuttle boat, accommodated over 125 guests for lunch. In Marathon, the Island Fish Company near the Vaca Cut fed another 100+ guests, while over 350 participants stopped in at Faro Blanco Resort, dining at either the Courtyard Marriott poolside, or at the Lighthouse Grill. No matter where anyone dined, these four dining partners provided a great lunch for all of our Key West attendees, and we thank everyone for working with us on this new format.
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GARRY & NANCY ROBERTSON | ME | Team MY DIAMOND | 43' NOR-TECH
JOHN ROSSATI | FL | Team TT DOUBLE DOWN | 42' MTI
CHRIS FISHER | VT | Team DONZI GIRL | 38' DONZI
SCOTT & TINA REITER | VA | Team TINACIOUS | 42' OUTERLIMITS
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POK ER RUN V ILLAGE WORDS BY STU JONES, PHOTOGRAPHY BY JERRY WYSZATYCKI
very single boat of the 180+ Key West Poker Run roster is worthy of head-turning Ooo’s and Ahhs every time it rolls up to the a gas station on its trailer, or finds its way to a waterfront restaurant on any given Sunday. But when you put two dozen of the newest, finest, shiniest and
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most unimaginable works of art together on one dock…. that’s when it goes to a whole new level. This is exactly what the Key West Poker Run sponsor dock is all about, and it just keeps going to higher highs year after year. While most of these boats are sponsored entries with the poker run, this
gives manufacturers and dealers a center-stage opportunity to have prospective buyers take off their shoes, wander across the raftup, and jump on board for a closer look at cockpit features, cabin amenities, and for the stern drive models, a sneak peek in the immaculate engine rooms that typical harbor a pair of QC4 turbo-charged Mercury Racing powerplants, ranging in horsepower from 1100 to
1650 horsepower each. And while the daytime is full of activity and fanfare, itâ€™s when darkness falls about midway through Happy Hour, that the neon and LED cockpit and underwater lights get fired up across the entire fleet. Most would agree, thatâ€™s when the real magic of the Key West Sponsor Dock steals the show! SJ
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T H U R SDAY N IGH T
BODY PAINTING EXHIBITION
enturies ago a wise man coined the phrase, “When in Rome, do as the Romans would do!” And this doctrine has since stood the test of time. A more modern phrase came along a couple of decades ago with a Las Vegas advertising campaign. We’ve all heard ...”What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas!” In honor of those two phrases, we present to you the Key West Poker Run Body Painting Exhibition. For its second year running, this expo of colorful and theme-appropriate artistic talent, combined with the beauty of the female form, has been a launch pad to get the weekend entertainment program off to an eye-opening, jaw dropping, iPhone battery-killing start! It all takes place outdoors at our Poker Run headquarters at Conch Republic Seafood Company. Of course, to meet city bylaws and code enforcement, organizers erected a barricade to block viewing from the general public along Green Street, and prevent incident bystanders from walking into this shameful den of debauchery.
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And with that, I give you my new phrase, “When in Key West, do as the Key Westers would do, but what happens in Key West, stays in Key West.” So, the mere fact that coverage of this body-painting made the pages of Powerboating in Paradise, might illustrate that the editor of this magazine, does NOT adhere with the second part of the phrase. Needless to say, it was a great show, the ladies were elegant, the artwork was sublime, and the winners won a lot of cash!! Special thanks to Anna Sweet and Hector’s team of talented Key West artists. SJ
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SPONSOR APPRECIATION PART Y
Stu & Jackie Jones - Florida Powerboat Club
he Key West Poker Run Village is the heartbeat of all poker run activities during the four days of Key West, Thursday through Sunday. Friday (all day) is Sponsor Appreciation Day, and later that evening FPC hosts a very special event, the Sponsor Appreciation Awards, where all of the feature sponsors are recognized for their contributions to the industry, and for their participation as a supporting sponsor. These companies, and the individuals who own and manage these major brands, represent the leaders of the performance marine industry, and the Florida Powerboat Club could not conduct this signature poker run without their continued support. One of the leading companies in this arena continues to be Mercury Racing, the Key West Presenting Sponsor, with their mobile display that has always been well-equipped with the latest sterndrive models on display, as well as the new Mercury Verado 400R and a full line of lab-finished propellers. Special thanks to Erik Christiansen, Scott Reichow and Steve Miller for bringing their expertise to our event.
Stu and Shay present the Sponsor award to Gary Patterson Liberty Coach
FPC Models: Rachelle, Whitney, Kayla & Shay
Whitney presents Sponsor award to Captain Joe Milazzo - Team Hydrasports Custom Boats
Scott Lyons accepts sponsor award from Whitney, for Doc. Mike Jansen
Rachelle presents Sponsor award to Mark & Eileen Fischer Offlease Only
Shay presents Cassie Ramaekers Sponsor award - Performance Boat Center
Skip Braver - Cigarette Racing Team, receives Sponsor award from
Rachelle and Shay present Sponsor award to David Tievy SCI-Superior Communication Inc.
66 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE Stu Jones and the models.
Models Kayla (L) and Rachelle (R) present sponsor award to Mark & Eileen Fischer - Blackwater Boats
Eric & Maggie Glaser - Midnight Express receive Sponsor award from Shay
Another sponsor salute goes to our Grand Prize Sponsor, OffleaseOnly. For the ninth year in a row, Mark & Eileen Fischer offered a Mustang Convertible to the Grand Prize Winner, or the alternative $ 20,000 Gift certificate for the purchase of any vehicle from their 5,000 vehicle OffleaseOnly inventory. Florida Powerboat Club thanks all the Feature sponsors for their continued Krytus, EG Vodka owner with Stephanie Gore and Captain support, and the Poker Run Village Marty Joe Milazzo continued to be spectacular with all the polished displays!
Micky Perez and Scott Greager - Conch Republic Seafood Co. receive Sponsor award from Stu Jones
Scott Price - Hardin Marine receives Sponsor award
Steve Miller - Mercury Racing & Shay
Nils Johnsen & Trond Schou - owners of Nor-Tech Hi Performance Boats receive Sponsor award from Anna Sweet Gallery models
Jilian, Jake & Jodi Goldman on stage with Stu & Jackie Jones for Larry Buzz Fyhrie - Sponsor award - Total Dollar Insurance Goldman tribute
Mike Layton, Adrenaline Powerboats, with Shay & Whitney (also won Best Poker Run Village display) Sven Teuber - Fast Lane Travel, receives Sponsor award from
68 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE Shay & Kayla
Models Haley (L) and Haddie (R) present sponsor award to Mike Gasman - Team Factory Billet
305 - 884 - 5368
custom engine and dyno shop
SATURDAY FUN RUN WORDS BY STU JONES
y Saturday of the Key West Poker Run, most participants have had a couple days away from the boats, and they’re ready for some adventure. Two decades ago, that resulted in FPC exploring the waters of the Marqueses Keys, lying twenty miles west of Key West, where Mooney Bay offered a protected anchorage in paradise. But shallow waters and careless navigation left many boaters stranded there, with packed strainers, fried impellers and poor cell service to call Seatow for help. Plan B was the next course of action, and appropriately that led us to Boca Grande. This new playground offered a sandy beach, calm protected waters, no shoals to deal with, and it soon became the new “Paradise Found” for the Saturday Fun Run. The real bonus was, the location was half the distance of the Marqueses Keys, making it a hop-skip-and-jump for the weekend revelers seeking the sun and a little Saturday romp to get their adrenaline fix! The Boca Grande rendezvous started in about 1998, and lasted a good sixteen or more years until the party, which was
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eventually crashed by everything-afloat, raised the eyebrows of sanctuary officials, who were concerned about the wellbeing of the birds and butterflies. Make no mistake about it. FPC was totally on board with the guidelines that were laid out by the sanctuary officials, and these guidelines were promoted clearly in the poker run kits and FPC magazine for all to see. Try as we might to keep the party on an even keel and appease the wildlife officials, the rowdy, beer drinking, musicplaying, pole-dancing mob was inevitably evacuated by the Refuge officials in 2015, and FPC was forced to find a new playground. This might sound like an easy task, but when high winds and choppy seas are prevalent as they frequently are in November, the ideal choices for a 100-boat raft up party soon become slim-pickins. In 2016, we settled for Plan C....Woman Key, but even this spot is exposed to the east and becomes quite choppy when the winds kick up.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JERRY WYSZATYCKI
After flying over the spot at about 10:30am, it was evident this was not the best solution for the 2017 event. Fortunately, we had plenty of fuel in our R44 chopper, and spent the next hour circling Key West in our pursuit. Riding along was FPC member and Key West resident John Evans, a successful businessman who spent many years boating here, operating the city’s largest jet ski concession, Hydrothunder Boat Rentals. John’s local knowledge of the waters is outstanding, and together we located a great anchorage that offered protected waters, light winds, and a soft bottom. (guys... the soft bottom refers to the seabed’s ability to hold an anchor). At last, we had found the perfect spot, located less than a quarter mile from the entrance to Key West Historic Seaport. Poker run boats could literally idle there and back…making it a fuel-friendly destination, that proved to be fun for the several poker run teams that had that insatiable urge to float around. Hey guys, we get it! SJ
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S AT U R DAY, N O V 1 1
TERRY SOBO | FL | Team BLACKWATER | 43' BLACKWATER
MARK & EILEEN FISCHER | FL | Team OFFLEASEONLY.COM | 52' NOR-TECH
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VOL 18 #1
A MAGAZINE SHOWCASING THE FLORIDA POWERBOAT CLUB LIFESTYLE
Featured in FPC Magazine 2015
ULTIMATE POKER RUN MACHINE
FOR SALE $599,000
2015 Nor-Tech 527 Mercury Racing 1350â€™s M8 Drives /Merc Cleaver Props Air Conditioned Cabin Center Helm 4-Bolster Cockpit Twin 12 Inch Garmin Displays JL Audio Sound System Underwater Lights Spacious Cabin-Enclosed Head-Large V-Birth Faux Teak Flooring Myco Aluminum Trailer
239.309.8344 Terry Sobo
DR. MICHAEL JANSSEN | CO | Team CENTER FOR SPINE & ORTHOPEDICS | 53' OUTERLIMITS
BRUNO & REBECCA PERREE | FL | Team MEGAWATTS | 39' OUTERLIMITS
SHANE MULKEY | LA | Team FAST MONEY | 44' SKATER
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S AT U R DAY, N O V 1 1
DAVID & LORIE POSTILL | MI | Team DEEP IMPACT | 39' DEEP IMPACT
DR. JASON PARKER | FL | Team KREWE DE DOC | 39' DEEP IMPACT
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S AT U R DAY, N O V 1 1
JEFF & HEATHER SPYKE | MI | Team NO DISCIPLINE | 39' CIGARETTE
STEPHEN BARKER | NY | Team FOR MY GIRLS II | 43' NOR-TECH
JERRY & CHARMAINE BENNISH | MI | Team DRINK ABOUT IT | 39' CIGARETTE
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very big poker run event deserves a big party, and when there’s a great meal on the menu, a vibrant poker run village as a backdrop, pretty ladies to deal your poker cards, and the keys to a 2017 Mustang Convertible ready to be handed off to a lucky winner…you’re probably going to show up! That’s exactly what the staff at Conch Republic Seafood Company was ready for, as they provided a continuous flow of cold beverages and an amazing buffet that featured succulent prime rib and jumbo skewers of Key West pink shrimp for more than 750 attendees! It was wide open fun as the party got underway just before 7pm, and the poker cards started to get posted on the massive 100 square foot poker board! While it’s Friday evening that the sponsors are recognized, Saturday night the poker run teams take center stage, with more than two dozen coveted People’s Choice Awards to be handed out during
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the next three hours. With a 25-year Key West anniversary as the theme of our Saturday night celebration, it remained paramount to get all the participants together, and focus on one very important objective… to honor our good friend Joseph Sgro, who had many times before, stood right there on that very stage alongside Mike Fiore, to be recognized for their sponsor participation as the owners of Outerlimits Powerboats. On this Saturday night, for a moment, and above all the hustle & bustle…there would be outright silence. Right there in the center of a vibrant poker run village, a packed restaurant and a crowded dock, not a sound could be heard, as hundreds paused and prayed for Joe and his family. In attendance, were the crews of almost twenty Outerlimits owners, many of whom discovered the power and the bond of a loyal family, that was perhaps strengthened by this tragedy.
The Saturday evening festivities continued, as more than 150 poker teams played out their poker cards, and the Peoples Choice awards just kept coming! On average, about 20 percent of the Key West teams never bother to play out their poker cards, but that’s never a problem for the other 80% who actually do. One of those teams that played out their cards, had come all the way from Michigan to attend the Key West Poker Run and it wasn’t their first rodeo, having attended this event at least ten times over their last sixteen years with FPC. That team was Hal & Missy Johnson, who ran the poker run in their Nor-Tech 39' CC, Something’s Brewing, and were joined by their two sons Gerry and Ian Johnson. There are no words to describe how genuinely happy and grateful this family was to win the Key West Poker Run, especially after attending for so many years. Watching them take a victory lap in that silver
OffleaseOnly Mustang, which was symbolic for our 25 years of Key West, was a very special moment! Congratulations to the Johnson’s and to all the winners…. you were all part of an historic event. It’s because of people like you, and all the other 180 poker run teams that joined in, that the Florida Powerboat Club has made if this far.
The 2017 edition of the Key West Poker Run, was indeed an event of highs and lows. To all our participants and sponsors, we thank you for your continued support and I ask that you join me in two final farewells. First, to the person who was there to help me start this club 26 years ago and to whom this event was dedicated, Larry Goldman. And second, to our friend and industry leader who lost his life doing what he loved amidst his boating friends and peers, Joseph Sgro. Stu Jones
POWERBOATING IN PARADISE | 81
First Place & Grand Prize winners Hal & Missy Johnson & their two sons Gerry & Ian Johnson - Team - SOMETHINGâ€™S BREWING - 39' Nor-Tech CC
Jackie Jones and Second Place winners - Mike & Maggie Sanz - Team BACK IN BLACK AGAIN 39' Deep Impact
Third Place winners - Tony Dewaal & Don Doty - Team DOUBLE D - 40' Skater
Tim & Erin Gallagher - BEST CATAMARAN - Team MTI
Mark & Eileen Fischer - BEST CENTER CONSOLE - Team DEEP IMPACT
Trond Schou - BEST PAINT & GRAPHICS - Team NOR-TECH
Francis Marfyak - BEST DRESSED CREW - Team YEAH BABY
Kyle Weese & crew, Team - SPLITTEN10$ , received Broken Propeller Award
Dr. Michael Janssen - Team - CENTER FOR SPINE & ORTHOPEDICS & John Rack- Team-OUTELIMITS receive awards from Jackie Jones and Kayla
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Marcus Schilling -Team GERMANY received Farthest Traveled award
Bob Berg - SEXIEST CREW - Team - TT PROGRAM
Jason & Laurie Moe -Team HURRY UP!!! - WA - received Farthest Towed award
Ray Aquit - SEXIEST CREW - Team HAMMERTIME - 39' Deep Impact
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John Woodruff - SEXIEST CREW - Team - WINDSHIP
Join the club. Join the fun. Five levels of membership to suit your boating lifestyle. PLATINUM MEMBERSHIP
• Access to all FPC events and parties. • Powerboating Video. (Dozens of titles to choose.) • Powerboating in Paradise Magazine subscription. • Embroidered Club T-shirt in your choice of colors. • Access to all Membership discount programs. PLUS:
• Premium Outer Banks club polo shirt. (Ladies tops available.) • Premium embroidered club hat. • Additional Powerboating video. • Venus Swimwear gift voucher. ($75-$100 value.) PLUS:
Premium Concierge Services • Priority booking status for rooms and dockage on all FPC Events. • Marina and marine service referrals for your powerboat. • Nautical assistance to a variety of marine resorts and boating destinations. • Planning and hotel/slip reservations for your Florida boating weekends.
Membership Includes all of the Standard Membership benefits, PLUS:
• Premium Outer Banks Club Polo Shirt. (Ladies tops avail.) • Premium embroidered club hat. • Additional Powerboating Video of your choice: • Venus Swimwear gift voucher. ($75-$100 value.) $369.00/year*
STANDARD MEMBERSHIP Membership Includes: • Access to all FPC events and parties. • Powerboating Video. (Dozens of titles to choose.) • Powerboating in Paradise Magazine subscription. • Embroidered Club T-shirt in your choice of colors. • Access to all Membership discount programs. $259.00/year*
• Discounted rates on FPC Magazine ads • Discounted rates on all web advertising/banner programs. • Access to all FPC events and parties. • Listing on our website affiliate section. Commercial Members also have the opportunity to run promotions and discounts through FPC events. $349.00/year*
SOCIAL MEMBERSHIP Membership Includes:
• Club T-shirt in your choice of colors. • Powerboating Video of your choice (Dozens to choose.) • Powerboating in Paradise Magazine subscription. • Access to FPC parties • Discounted Boat Show tickets. $79.00/year*
*Overseas and international memberships will have a slightly higher rate to compensate for mailing/shipping costs.
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IF AND WHEN...
ebruary 15, 2018 marks the 5th anniversary of Florida Powerboat Club’s formal launch of the new Safety Management Initiative at the Miami International Boat Show, an historic occasion that changed the course of all FPC events for the coming years. For this gathering, FPC invited members of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, along with first responders from Miami Dade Fire Rescue, to meet with powerboat owners and marine industry professionals and have open discussion about powerboat accident-avoidance, and above all, effective emergency response to incidents on the water. Just one week after this forum, FPC proudly launched its new Poker Run Safety Management Program, which enlisted the support of paid-duty Florida Fish & Wildlife (FWC) state operated patrol boats, with two-person safety diver and paramedic teams that were recruited through a Miami Dade Fire Rescue paid-duty program. In addition to the FWC boats, highly advanced fire-fighting & rescueequipped vessels including the flagship “ Fireboat 1” from the MDFR fleet were added to the rescue mission, giving FPC poker runners ( an organizers) peace-ofmind knowing that highly trained staff and state-of-theart rescue vessels were present on the poker run course. With the fire hoses on Fireboat 1, operating a full-pump capacity and blasting four plumes of water high in the air near the Featherbed cut on Biscayne Bay, this popular attraction soon became a fixture on FPC poker runs, and if nothing else, reminded participants that their sfety management fees were generating some heavy artillery on the course…even if no safety teams were ever engaged in a rescue operation. Indeed, that fact was never lost on the FPC president, who found it ironic that one of the top budget items for big events like the Miami Boat Show or Key West poker runs was for actual staff, and boats …that were essentially, never used. Whether a
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rescue operation was performed or not…the hourly rates for the boats and staff, remain constant. But finally, after nearly five years in full swing, that changed. The 25th edition of the FPC’s Key West Poker Run was staged this past November, and with the usual rescue fleet of first responders, FWC patrol boats, divers, paramedics and MDFR vessels ready for action, the Wednesday departure group, about 34 poker run boats in all, pushed the throttles forward and headed southbound on Biscayne Bay. It was clear and warm for November, albeit a little breezy, with winds from the east that kicked up a quartering-sea chop, hitting most boats on their port bow. With the FPC chopper in hot pursuit, the front-runners including boats from the Hi-performance class, along with a few from the Performance class…were soon reduced to small rooster tails on the horizon. A mere 15-20 minutes into the run, an incident occurred when a performanceclass v-bottom took a hard wave from the side, jarring the boat in to one side, and then snapping it back as the chine connected with the hard water. Passenger Tom Calabro (51) an FPC member from New Jersey, was caught off guard and the sharp motion of the boat as it snapped back, pitched him into the hard surface of Biscayne Bay. At over 100mph. The rest, is nothing short of a miracle, as Tom Calabro survived this incident and was walking in just a few days. His story follows, but before we hear Tom’s account… we invite you to read the following report from Mr. Andy Alvarez, CFO, the reporting officer from Port Miami, where the MDFR crew was dispatched from to conduct the safety management detail for FPC that day. This report, is an eye opener…and validates the effectiveness of the FPC Safety Management program, and the “Call of Duty” from our MDFR first responders, who have been credited for saving a life on November 8, 2017. SJ
Captain Gardner, I want to thank you for your professionalism and always being ahead of the potential curveballs thrown our way. Today during the Poker-Run a participant was ejected out of his race boat at over 120 MPH. The PT was immediately attended to by the crews of FB-21 and the SEB "Safety Divers" assigned to the FWC vessel. The ability to be on scene within seconds saved this patients life. The PT was complaining of slight abdominal pain and nothing else. MDFR treated the PT accordingly and transported him via Air Rescue South to JMH from Alabama Jacks as a Trauma Alert. The receiving Trauma Dr. later advised our crews that checked up on the PT, that he had a Pelvic fracture with a 85-90% mortality rate and was immediately taken to the OR. The Dr. stated that due to our treatment, and immediate transport to the proper facility we had saved his life. A true testament that MDFR in coordination with Special Events and our Maritime Partners were instrumental in saving this patients life. Please pass this information to Mr. Stu Jones, as I am sure he would like to know that even though there was an unfortunate incident during his event, everything that was coordinated between your shop and Mr. Jones paid off huge dividends today. I am extremely proud of the commitment, training , and professionalism, demonstrated today by all of the MDFR members involved.
Respectfully, Andy Alvarez, CFO Marine Services Branch O.I.C. Port Miami
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FPC GIRLS RACHELLE
KAYLA WHITNEY SHAY
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IT’S TIME TO HANG THAT...
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JOE SGRO | RI | Team OUTERLIMITS | 50' OUTERLIMITS
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W IN T E R
WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY BY STU JONES
hen the Winter chill puts a deep freeze on most of the continent, most warm-blooded Americans can endure that for only so long, and eventually something’s gotta give! For those who have reached their tolerance level of Old Man Winter, that’s exactly why the Winter Poker Run was created for FPC members almost twenty years ago! The late January event provides a mid-winter escape to the Florida Keys, and with past destinations that have included Hawks Cay Resort, Faro Blanco Resort & Marina, and now the all-new Playa Largo Resort, it’s just the right amount of sun & fun to take that winter blues away.
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The 2018 edition of the Winter Poker Run returned to its 4th weekend in January time-slot, finding this new high-end resort that was fully equipped with brand new docking facilities. Playa Largo is positioned as one of Marriott Autograph Collection of hotels, and with its lavish grounds, luxurious amenities and a staff that was incredibly welcoming, everyone agreed this was a great new home for FPC, with many already planning their next visit. While boating conditions were a little breezy, we just stayed in the protected bay waters to Key Largo, and even managed to get in a fun lunch run to Marathon on Saturday. Hereâ€™s a sneak peek at this fun weekend, as FPC members escaped to the warmest place in America, at the height of winter!! SJ
IMAGINE A GLOBAL POWERBOATING COMMUNITY WITH EASY ACCESS TO BOATING CLUBS, POKER RUN EVENTS AND PASSIONATE PEOPLE...
JUST LIKE YOU!
WORLD POWERBOAT CLUB UPDATE Last year we announced at the Miami International Boat Show, that the FPC Founder would be introducing the new organization, The World Powerboat Club, which is aimed at connecting the global powerboating community, including boating associations, event organizers and major poker run events on every continent. The feedback has been tremendous over the last twelve months, as we continue to grow our contact database throughout North America, across the Atlantic to Europe, and to the Southern latitudes of Australia. But just last fall, after Hurricane Irma swept through the Florida Keys, we have been forced to focus our efforts on FPC management affairs, at the expense of our marketing efforts for World Powerboat Club. We assure everyone who has expressed any
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS (BVI): Nick Willis – Nick@surfbvi.com CANADA : MEGHAN BROUSSEAU- firstname.lastname@example.org FINLAND: George Takkula - email@example.com HOLLAND/NETHERLANDS: Helmich Hillen – Hhillen@gmail.com MALLORCA, SPAIN: Rolf Hoellger - firstname.lastname@example.org NORWAY: Andree Bakkegaard- email@example.com PUERTO RICO: Wally Castro – Wally@wallycastromarine.com
level of interest, that WPC is very much alive, with a formidable marketing effort that will be revitalized in the coming months. Meanwhile, if you are powerboating enthusiast, poker run organizer, or head of a boating organization that stages events for performance boaters....we need to hear from you!
THANK YOU STU JONES- FOUNDER FLORIDA POWERBOAT CLUB / WORLD POWERBOAT CLUB PHONE: 954-545-1414
UNITED STATES: COLORADO: Mario Funes Mariofunes10@gmail.com FLORIDA: Stu Jones firstname.lastname@example.org KENTUCKY: Justin Lucas email@example.com NEW JERSEY: David Kramer firstname.lastname@example.org TEXAS: Paul Robinson – Rtechperformance@verizon.net
ST. THOMAS USVI: Guilderoy Sprauve - email@example.com TURKS & CAICOS: Ron Williams - firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE EMAIL YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION, AND DETAILS ABOUT YOUR BOATING LIFESTYLE AND/OR THE ORGANIZATION THAT YOU REPRESENT TO STU JONES: Stu@flpowerboat.com
We'll include you in all of the marketing and information email bulletins that will begin to circulate late this Spring 2018...and we hope that we soon meet you in person, or attend your local poker run event...no matter where it may be!
94 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
M E M B E R S M A R K E T P L AC E 2016 Deep Impact - Low hours! •Triple Mercury Racing Verado 400R •80 hours - 6 months factory warranty remains •Engines rigged with jack-plates •Twin Garmin 15" GPS Chartplotters •Mercury Vesselview monitoring •Custom interior with Seadek flooring •Custom cockpit and underwater lights •JL Audio system •Torino aluminum trailer
$ 325,000 - Poker Run Ready!
Lifeline Poker Run Jackets - like new. (2) extra large, (1)large, (1) medium & (1) small. Custom made- tri-color. Rarely used!
$1,800 all 5
Contact FPC Office for members phone number. Will ship UPS anywhere in USA PH: 954.545.1414 POWERBOATING IN PARADISE | 95
AFFORDING THE PLEASURE OF LUXURY HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER THAN WITH F P C ’S F R AC T I O NA L OW N E R S H I P C L U B.
lorida Fractional Club ( operated by FPC) was founded in 2015, and we have been waiting patiently to find the “right boat” that is the perfect fit for this fractional yacht ownership program. That opportunity has finally come along, with a 2017 Azimut 66 Flybridge yacht, that is fit for a King & Queen! This stylish and spacious yacht features four-stateroom plus crew quarters, Caterpillar-powered turbo diesels, great performance and fuel economy...making it one of the leading yachts in its class. The most attractive feature, it’s NEW with just 360 hours of use and is currently headquartered at Grove Harbour Marina. The current yacht owner is a Florida Powerboat Club member, and currently there are two new fractional buyers ( also FPC members) that are ready to proceed. This yacht is valued at over $ 2.5 Million,yet quarter-shares are priced proportionately less for the next buyer to join in this program. FPC will be the managing entity, making this yacht an integral part of the FPC poker run circuit, and re-positioning to the most popular Florida ports-of-call, including the Palm Beaches, Fort Lauderdale, Coconut Grove, and Key West, along with Gulf Coast ports that include Naples, Sarasota, St. Petersburg! Florida Fractional Club is the smart way to enter yacht ownership, with a fraction of the cost, and the assurance that the continued use of this yacht, ensures mechanical reliability and the ability to support a full-time, professional crew. The end result, is total enjoyment of the Florida yachting lifestyle, at a fraction of the cost, with no maintenance headaches!
C O N TA C T: S T U J O N E S | S T U @ F L P O W E R B O AT. C O M | P H : 9 5 4 . 6 8 4 . 9 3 3 3 96 | POWERBOATING IN PARADISE
MOTORYACHT: Quarter share pricing includes: full time crew, storage, docking, maintenance, insurance & repositioning in some cases.
2017 Azimut 66 FLY •Largest flying bridge in its class •360 engine hours •Twin 1150HP turbo Caterpillars •Seakeeper w/ flybridge control station •Bow & Stern thrusters •Raymarine Platinum Package electronics •Electric Bimini top on bow & gangway
POWERBOAT: $ 30,000/ quarter share /
$250-monthly Includes (Storage + Maintenance + Insuranc e + launching)
• 2000 Cigarette 38 Top Gun • Twin Mercury 540CI Bulldogs • Full array of updated electronics & accessories • Custom trailer with 150CC scooter • Full time dry storage by FPC included in program • Poker Run event fees and launches included • Sportboat class- 60mph cruise/ 70mphv+ top speed • Florida- Bahamas – occasional out of state events
WINTER POKER RUN TO FLORIDA KEYS
Featuring the Playa Largo Resort, Key Largo. A luxurious Marriott Autograph Collection Resort. Saturday lunch run to Marathon.
23 rd A N N UA L M I A M I B OAT S H OW P O K E R RU N
Headquartered in Sunny Isles Beach with Friday Fun Run to Miami River Hot Spots-Saturday Poker run to Key Largo and Sunday Raft-up Party.
9 t h A N N UA L TA M PA BAY P O K E R RU N
All new venue in Downtown Tampa-with excellent docking facilities. Westin & Marriott host hotels.
FO RT M Y E R S P O K E R RU N
Returning to the fabulous Pink Shell Resort & Marina Friday Fun Run & Saturday Poker Run in scenic waters.
EU RO PE P O K E R RU N F 1 E X PE R I E N C E G R A N D PR I X O F S PA I N , BA RC E LO N A
Early arrival for First Class VIP race fan experience!
3 rd A N N UA L EU RO PE P O K E R RU N
Porsche driving adventure Germany through Swiss Alps to the French Riviera-Monaco, St Tropez.
BA H A M A S P O K E R RU N (3 day & 6 day formats)
JUNE JULY AUG
FP C S U M M E R P O K E R RU N WO R LD TO U R
Ft. Lauderdale to West End, Grand Bahama (Fri-Sun) Extended trip to Abacos-Hope Town (Sun-Wed).
Florida Powerboat Club will attend the leading poker runs across the nation with 38’ Cigarette Top Gun in tow. Send us your event info!
FPC EMERALD COAST POWERBOAT POKER RUN
Headquartered at the Emerald Grande & Harborwalk Village. Powerboat Week festivities begin Tue, August 15.
FA L L F U N R U N TO F LO R I DA K E Y S
All new Bakers Cay, a Curio by Hilton Resort, Key Largo. Limited dockage - 30 boat capacity marina.
(Alternative Bimini trip being considered for same dates)
26th ANNUAL KEY WEST OFFSHORE POKER RUN Multiple hotels and marinas to choose from. Book early for best selection. Registration opens January 2018.
Disclaimer: Please note the 2018 event planning is a constantly ongoing process, that will most certainly see changes to dates and events along the way. The following calendar includes some (tentative dates) along with new events that are currently in the planning stages with venue hosts and sponsoring organizations. It’s important that you do NOT purchase airplane tickets, book hotels, or make plans to attend, without first confirming with the Florida Powerboat Club office. Visit WWW.FLPOWERBOAT.COM for updated information.
AD INDEX ACTIVE THUNDER........................................................... 75 AMERICAN CUSTOM MARINE..........................................19 AO COOLERS................................................................... 77 BLACK WATER................................................................ 35 BOOSTPOWER MARINE..................................................IBC BRAND X......................................................................... 69 CUSTOM MARINE............................................................ 21 DEEP IMPACT...................................................................13 DOLLER OFFSHORE MARINE............................................15 EMERALD COAST POKER RUN 2018............................... 83 FAST LANE TRAVEL ........................................................ 37 FLORIDA FRACTIONAL CLUB ......................................... 96 FPC MEMBERS MARKET PLACE ..................................... 95 FPC MEMBERSHIP.......................................................... 85 FPC PICTURE ORDER...................................................... 89 GROVE HARBOUR MARINA.............................................. 43 UNIQUE ISLAND ESTATE FOR SALE................................. 84 LIVORSI........................................................................... 21 MERCURY RACING......................................................... IFC MESA BALANCING.......................................................... 69 MIAMI BOAT SHOW 2018................................................ 33 MIAMI BOAT SHOW POKER RUN 2018.............................. 7 MIDNIGHT EXPRESS....................................................... 39 NOR-TECH........................................................................ 23 NOR-TECH 527 FOR SALE................................................ 73 OFFLEASE ONLY................................................................ 5 PERFORMANCE BOAT CENTER........................................ 41 PIRATES OF LANIER POKER RUN 2018........................... 53 SCI SUPERIOR COMMUNICATIONS.................................. 51 SOUTH FLORIDA AUTOMATION....................................... 47 TAMPA BAY POKER RUN 2018.......................................... 6 TEAGUE CUSTOM MARINE..........................................BACK TNT................................................................................. 77 TOTAL DOLLAR INSURANCE........................................... 67 WESTREC MARINAS....................................................... 29 WORLD POWERBOAT CLUB............................................. 94
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