Thursday, August 12, 2010

PRA 1000 Islands Run: Another Year of Success

The 1000 Islands Poker Run roared into life again on Saturday August 7th, luring hundreds of admirers to watch the mighty engines ply the St. Lawrence -and to get a close-up look at the cigarette boats moored temporarily in Tunnel Bay.

There were more people (spectators) this year than in recent years," said city Councillor Larry Journal, one of the event's organizers. "We were really, really pleasantly surprised."

PHOTO CREDITS: Kingston This Week

For many local people, standing amid the thunder of these powerful engines seeing the kind of toys they will never be able to afford themselves is becoming a tradition. This year, the poker run boats made card stops in Brockville, Prescott and Kingston.

This year's event drew about 65 boats, but included some impressive examples of offshore power, including AquaMania, a 50-foot carbon fibre Mystic, that's equipped with two turbine helicopter engines.
"(It's) currently the fastest boat on the St. Lawrence River in history," said Merola, adding the vessel went over 205 m.p.h. last year. "We came to try and beat our record. I have been attending for 25 years. I have been to every single 1000 Islands Poker Run since the beginning."
While a handful of locals have criticized the poker run as an unnecessary waste of energy -not to mention a source of pollutants -in an age of global warming, most local residents support the event, and the economic boost it provides every year. Oh well--So much for the party-poopers ... congratulations to Poker Runs America for putting on another superb event!

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