Glen Cove Powerboat Poker Run 2006 Recap September 17, 2006
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES…in this case it was 22 days, but what a difference it made!
Bright blue skies with white clouds and the Sun Gods shining down on our SPEEDBOATS!…
they must have wanted to see a show…and they did!
The GLEN COVE POWERBOAT POKER RUN 2006, hosted by Steamboat Landing Restaurant in Glen Cove, New York, located on the infamous North Shore of Long Island, took off at 12 noon, Sunday September 17th. On its 75 mile cruise to Bridgeport, CT and back after visiting Cold Spring Harbor in Oyster Bay.
Guy LaMotta, in his newly acquired 53 Magnum, “Dry Martini”, lead the pack of 21 Aquatic Speedsters out to Long Island Sound in the official NPBA Paceboat at a brisk 25 knots..
Contestants came from Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York , trailering their Hardy “Cigarette” Type Speedboats to Long Island Sound 75 mile dash in seek of the best poker hand, after picking up cards at different ports or Checkpoint boats moored at specific locations. Additional Awards of prestige are the Best Looking Crew Award, the Best Looking Boat Award, King Navigator of the Cats and of the V-Bottoms (you gotta’ have somebody on-board who knows where to go…), and the camaraderie of speeding around Long Island Sound with a helicopter taking your videos and photos that ultimately end up on the cable channels around the world!
Recent airings on the Discovery Channel, MSG, Speed Channel, and Powerboat Television of previous National Powerboat Associations’ events, feature the Poker Runs in New York City and on Long Island Sound.
Productions based and produced in the New York City Region seem to have a different tone over other productions westward, …NEW YORK CITY STYLE…sometimes with a little Brooklyn Accent thrown in.
NPBA has found a nitch market that is dedicated to enthusiastic participant and the audience viewers who enjoy to see it…of course the sponsors “drive” this new tool for marketing and reaching its nitch buyer of these expensive, state-of-the-art, machines.
So the Shows have become more elaborate, the Events have become more extravagant, and the equipment is “over the top” with some of these 150 mile per hour water rockets that cost over $1,000,000.00 dollars …and burn $1,000.00 per hour in gas consumption.
And if you break a motor or out drive you’re in for another 25 grand or more …and its not “if”…it’s just when The serious teams perform preventive maintenance, military style meeting certified specifications and torques, But sometimes you still replace a blown engine of drive train component. And the Big Boys do bring their Big Toys to these events’ in-style with fancy motor coaches and tractor-trailers.
Brand names such as OUTERLIMITS, FOUNTAIN, and CIGARETTE are the popular Hull names that contestants prefer to speed in. They are often powered by MERCURY RACING ENGINEs and drivelines. They dominate the propulsion industry. ARNESON MARINE INDUSTRIE, who has sold to our military its surface piercing propeller system that allows our boats to operate in shallow depths at hi-speed. The market is being opened up a bit by the ILMOR MARINE ENGINE people with a 10 Cylinder Powerhouse derived from Daimler/Chrysler’s VIPER ENGINES. The in-boat communications systems also take after the military Fighter crafts and helicopters with their headphones and microphones supplied by the David Clark Company out of Worcester, Mass. This is the equipment that was used by our astronaut when he landed on the moon. That is the caliber of equipment we are dealing with here. The latest hulls are made of the oven-baked epoxies and polyesters, carbon fiber, duPont’s Kevlar 49, (bullet-proof vest material) which equates to lighter and stronger hulls to fly over the water, but occasionally pound the water. All of these products come with a guarantee.
Some High-Performance engines come with a 90-day guarantee…some high-performance hulls come with a Lifetime Guarantee.
As the flag dropped, off the boats went…northwest at 70 degrees magnetic…or they followed the telltale on their new GPS display, all the way to Bridgeport, Conn. After picking up their card off the docks at Checkpoint Number One, the Dolphin Cove Restaurant, they took off for Cold Spring Harbor next. The Helicopter keeping pace with 95% of the boats, but some them now can out run the helicopter with speed in excess of 160 MPH! They have to slow down to get their photo taken.
After picking up their cards at Checkpoint number Two, A magnificent 42’ Sea Ray Express Cruiser, they rode the north shore coastline back to Hempstead Bay and into Glen Cove/Steamboat Landing Restaurant.
Everyone likes to go fast in the beginning…find their rhythm with the seas and wind of the day. The V-Bottoms found their rhythm 1st. The 44 OUTERLIMITS of Mark Kosik, “Keep Diggin’ II”, with Twin 1075 HP Mercury Racing Engines set the pace and was followed by Joe Sgro and crew in his 42 OUTERLIMITS with a pair of 1200 HP Engines …cruising at over 100 mph. Running in 3rd was the BATBOAT piloted by Robert Winoski of Harrison, New York in his 24 foot phenomenon developed in Sweden. It utilizes large bat-style wings in the rear of the boat to help “air- the- boat out” and lift it off of the water, meaning less water friction and additional flying ability,,,like a bat. ..which again means more speed.
The two respected catamarans named “MAXED OUT” and “BAD’ lived up to their namesakes….both had mechanical gremlins aboard though, striking the blower belt in one craft and breaking the ground connection in the other, happening just half way to Connecticut. They both were able to fix themselves, but the gang was gone…they had more cards to pick-up.
Kristin Adams won the “Trooper Award” after being half-ejected out of and then down to the floor in the 29 Kryptonite of Holden Kramer, sometimes known as a bit of an aggressive pilot by the “in-crowd”. At speeds right around century mark…100 mph, she mustard up the courage and completed the course in record time. I guess once the “jitters” got scared out of her she just really enjoyed the thrill of speeding over the water.
The 1st outboard cat into Oyster Bay was Joe Tenaglia’s 24’ Cat with Mercury Outboards and Greg Katz as co-pilot, Our 2nd Outboard cat of John Gullans took off like a rocket , but broke a lower foot and limped back to port.
The Activator Team was there in force and lead by the infamous John Ruggieri otherwise known as the “Fastest Plumber on the Water”. His reputation in his 40’ “White Lightning” V-Bottom with JAZE Engines and Fuel Systems, out shines and simply out runs the fleet by cruising at 94 mph…with power to spare.
Joe Barese, Jr in the 27 Activator, “Gecko” amazes the boys by running in the low 90’s with just one engine. Ed Wilowski is right in the pack with the single engine craft in his 90 plus mph 26 Corsa powered by 850 HP.
The “CATATONIC” Warlock Catamaran of Matt Montineri from Glastonbury, CT, used twin 800 HP engines and Merc Speedmasters to enjoy 120 MPH occasionally as he skimmed over Long Island Sound. Vincent Winoski, piloting the 38 Eliminator V-Bottom with twin 525 HP Merc Engines, showed many of his senior comrades how it was done by throttling, driving, and navigating all by himself at high-speed. Steve Barker was running along with this herd in his triple-engine Cobra Powered 38’ Sonic, “For My Girls”. 90 MPH seems to be the median speeds these days.
Tom Fancher in a cat? …Yup,..a 30 footer with twin Merc outboards…in that 90 mph pack also…with throttle to spare of course. Jamie Borg was the driver while Tommy throttled.. Daniel Phelan and Raymond Barese navigated around the course in their respected 27 Activator V-Bottoms.
And then came Tommy Abrams from the North in his 42’ Cigarette, “Endangered Species” with a full crew aboard including his 5 year old son, He had the best grin of the day and the best hair-do after the 90 mph wind styled it.
And this event was the debut of Nick Infante as “driver of record” as Richie Meyers throttled his 28 Pantera sporting twin 496 Merc engines and drives …at a blistering 88 mph…is that right? Nick thought it was 106 mph…
The REAL WINNERS OF THE DAY were:
“KING NAVIGATOR OF THE V-BOTTOMS”
Mark Kozik, 44 OUTERLIMITS
“BEST LOOKING CREW”
John Ruggieri’s boys in “White Lightning”.
“BEST LOOKING BOAT”
Vinny Rifice in his new cat, “BAD”.
“SPIRIT OF THE NPBA”
The 5’ trophy goes to Ron Barette for displaying the attitude and dedication to the sport that results in his “love-of-the-game” persona. He has been in the Offshore Racing Division competing with and along side of Billy Frenz dating back to the early 80’s. He is just GREAT to be around…and boy his boat is real fast too!
5th Place Money went to Andrew Elias in his 33 Powerplay.
4th Place Money went to Joe Barese Sr. in his 24 Cigarette.
3rd Place money went to Peter Matice in his 24 Superboat.
…ya’ see…you don’t need a big boat to win…
2nd Place went to Ante Zic in his 37 OUTERLIMITS, ”Infatuation”.
1st Place went to Racing Veteran Joe Sgro in his 42 OUTERLIMITS, “Less than Zero”. …maybe that is what the gas gauge said at the end of the day…