Almost two weeks ago, a Facebook friend who I’ve yet to meet in person—thanks to continued performance boating coverage for many years between OffshoreOnly.com and Speedonthewater.com I have dozens of friends on the social media platform like that—sent me a message letting me know how everything went with a local poker run he helps organize. Local to him was far from local to me as Nicolay Rylander, a friend from Arendal, Norway, who is a big Speedonthewater.com advocate, participated in the annual Arendal Poker Run along with a few hundred other people.
Thanks to years of covering performance boats, I’ve traveled to dozens of places around the United States and even to a few different countries, including Tunisia, Canada, Italy and The Bahamas. Norway is not on that list, but thanks to Rylander’s efforts to fill me in on what takes place at their event at the end of June, I want to add it in the near future.
The pictures and video he passed along from the event, which included 45 registered boats and practically perfect weather, definitely piqued my interest in the poker run. Between the caliber of boats, the scenery, the boating destinations and more, it appears that the organizers of the Arendal Poker Run—the Neptun PowerBoat Club—know how to host one heck of a good time.
“The weather was excellent this year—we even had a little wind, which gave the boats plenty of air time in the waves,” said Rylander, who explained that the waters in and around Norway for the poker run are similar to that of the Key West Poker Run in Florida with some protected waterways and some offshore. “Everyone had a great time this year thanks to some top-shelf sponsors and card stops.
“We started in Arendal Harbour—locally know as the Pollen area,” he continued. “We then drove east toward Lyngør, where we held the first card stop. Then we did a helicopter shoot before heading to our second card stop at a local boat race in the Kilsund area. Then we drove to Tromøy Island for our lunch stop where we grabbed a third card. After two hours of live music and great BBQ, we headed to the fourth card stop in Grimstad before heading back to the Pollen area where we picked up the final card, opened the hands and had a fantastic meal followed by a great party.”
Rylander said that Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats won the “construction competition” with a total of 12 boats participating, five of which were Nor-Tech 36-foot catamarans.
“We are lucky enough to have (Nor-Tech co-owner and fellow Norwegian) Trond Schou attend the poker run each year,” Rylander added. “Everyone always enjoys seeing him as well as the boats produced by his team back in the United States.”
Along with pictures from the run—not to mention the well produced timely video of the event included above—Rylander sent images of this year’s event jacket as well as its own privately labeled cans of Arendal Poker Run beer.
Wait, event-specific beer? Sign me up for the 2019 event right now. It’s about time I get to meet Rylander and all of his friends on their home turf.
Photos courtesy Nicolay Rylander
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.