| On rain-drenched Friday the fleet looked thin, but all the boys came out on Sunny Saturday for a fun filled day of Speedboating on Long Island Sound and Peconic
After a 27 year hiatus from producing boat races in the area, the NATIONAL POWERBOAT ASSOCIATION was back in Old Saybrook, CT to produce this spectacular 75 mile Poker Run. Between the Bridges Marina hosted the event and the Back Porch restaurant served the food and drinks.
Twenty three boats travelled to The Pavilion Beach Club in Old Lyme, to Orient Point, Montauk Point, New London and back to the Connecticut River.
After a brief driver's meeting, the field of contestants was lead to the starting line by Old Saybrook's finest, Detective Sgt. Gene Heiney in the police boat . The Connecticut DEP escort boat also joined us for the parade.
Immediately in their wake was the Official Pace Boat of the event, Ken Kleitz' 'TSUNAMI', a real 33 Sutphen Race Boat driven by Chris Cestaro of Ocean Performance, throttled by NPBA Executive Director and 'OUTRAGEOUS' 1980s throttleman, Billy Frenz and accompanied by NPBA flag girl, Allison Frenz.
The real excitement began when the green flag was dropped and speeds approached 100+mph all the way to checkpoint #1 where we found David Carlson's 40 Ocean Yacht handing out the cards.
The team of Calvanese/DeSantis in their 40 Skater, Dr Bill Schmid in his trick 36 Skater, Joe Castelana in his 50 Skater, Todd Luzzi in 'Motion' and Tommy Abraham in his Falconized 36 MTI formed the cat club that lead the group around the course. The 32' Skater, co-piloted by Danny Kleitz, was running in the 3rd slot until they took an unexpected pit stop at checkpoint #1.
Poking his V at the cat club was Brad Pompilli in his superfast, Northeast Performance Marine prepped 42X Cigarette, followed closely by Team Hamilton's 'Wild Child' Outerlimits. Matt Gordon's 'Bad Company' Donzi kept pace with the lead V-bottoms right on the tails of the cats.
All boats made it back to port before the 5 pm deadline, some with minor mechanical issues, but fortunately all were accounted for before the skies opened up again with a torrential down pour and wind storm..Mother Nature celebrating the finish of the Old Saybrook Powerboat Poker Run!