You might see and hear a lot of action on the St. Mary’s River over the next few days, that’s because it’s Poker Run time!
During the 2016 CAN/AM President’s Cup VIP Poker Run, vessels ranging from 35 to 50 feet will speed to Richards Landing, Hilton Beach, Thessalon and Drummond Island and they can move!
Ian McMillian, Executive Director of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie is calling this a “test event” but he’s confident the first run will turn into a new annual event attracting tourist and growing the event to maybe include 100 vessels. McMillian says they expect 25 of these power boats to be racing up and down the river by Saturday morning.
Friday, August 5: The public will have a chance to see the high-performance boats up-close and meet the owners and crew under the Roberta Bondar Pavilion from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and then the fun really starts on Saturday, spectators are welcome to line up along the shoreline to see the boats in action with the Parade of Power at 10am. A group start at 10:30 is scheduled as the boats head east. If you want to actually ride in one of the power boats the public can pay a fee with proceeds going directly to Big Brothers/ Big Sisters.
Media were invited for a preview Wednesday and take a quick tour of the riverfront in the official pace boat of the President’s Cup VIP Poker RunTour, a 47 foot Phantom weighing about 17,000 pounds with a 3,000 horsepower motor and rip to 120 miles an hour. Bill Taylor, President of Power Boating Canada and Poker Runs America and owner of the boat says the boats can start at $1million and up”It all started in the 1980’s with shows like Miami Vice . “we created the sport in 1986” Taylor said, “the Miami Vice tv series, that’s where the whole concept came from, I remember seeing that boat and thinking I want to bring that to Canada” The power boat craze is still going strong 30 years later and growing in popularity.
Check out our quick ride in the video!