While we didn’t have to dodge any rain at the Desert Storm Poker Run Street Party in Arizona’s Lake Havasu City, this year’s annual Thursday evening bash was most definitely a scorcher. Then again, anything above 100 degrees normally feels that way.
Of course the somewhat stifling weather kept a large chunk of the crowds off the city’s popular McCulloch Boulevard, until the early evening, but once the temperature dropped a few degrees, the sun dipped behind the mountains and the boats and trailers lit up, the people came out in droves.
For most of the massive party I was manning the speedonthewater.com display with my partner, Matt Trulio, so we each only got a couple of quick trips up and down the street to check out the hardware in town for Friday’s poker run. All I can say is that, once again, the boats, tow rigs, stereo systems and more were over the top, which is why I had a difficult time selecting the five things that stood out to me the most.
First things first, credit is due to the somewhat thankless staff that helped put the whole Street Party together. Second, credit also needs to be passed along to the team at DCB Performance Boats for coordinating with its customers to showcase 13 boats altogether on the street. Not only was it cool to see their models from the M41 down to the all-new M28 with twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines, the banners, merchandise sales and custom shirts only emphasized the team mentality.
OK, this wasn’t an easy choice being that the Dial 911/Swoop Motorsports team’s Skater Powerboats cat was sitting just across the way and that there were several beautiful catamarans lined up behind it, but I’m going to have to select Craig Hargreaves’ Spooled Up, a 52-foot MTI catamaran with Mercury Racing 1550 engines, as this year’s Street Party Showstopper. What helped put the boat, which was painted by Visual Imagination in Missouri, at the top of the list was its ultra-custom SportChassis that was recently finished to haul the 52-footer that MTI wrapped up just in time to display it at the Miami International Boat Show.
The Doc Is In
When I did the story on Wednesday that Michael “Doc” Janssen was bringing his repowered Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats SV 53 canopied pleasure boat to Desert Storm in conjunction with Mercury Racing and the company’s “QC4v Experience” marketing campaign, it instantly went to the top of my list of “must-see” boats. Needless to say, the boat did not disappoint—neither did the custom Trask Performance Assault turbocharged motorcycle that Janssen had displayed on the back of his tow rig.
Between the title sponsor Spectre Powerboats’ lone 32-foot cat with twin Verado 400R engines and multiple Skaters, Eliminators, DCBs and more, the fast cats that were spread out along the Street Party had me drooling. And I know I wasn’t the only one based on the comments I heard throughout the evening. Even with all the cool cats, one of the most standout models had to be the latest Nordic Boats 43-foot powered by twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines. The orange, yellow and white beauty definitely had tons of cameras pointed at it all night long.
P Is For Parts
Last but not least, I enjoyed seeing Joe Rode and company from Eddie Marine/Eddie Motorsports in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. It was the parts supplier’s first trip to the poker run and Rode said they had a great time displaying for the partygoers. They weren’t the only parts/engine company in town obviously as there was BoostPowerUSA.com, IMCO Marine, Teague Custom Marine and plenty others.
All in all, the party was a good time, and I can’t wait for the next one.
Former Powerboat editor Jason Johnson was an integral part of the magazine staff from 2005 through 2011, utilizing journalistic integrity and experience in and around performance boats to report on all aspects of the go-fast lifestyle. The award-winning writer resides in Southern California and is the executive editor and co-publisher of speedonthewater.com.