When it comes to street parties and displays during high-performance powerboating boating events, the Desert Storm Poker Run version on McCulloch Boulevard in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., on tap later this month, is the one by which all others are measured. The annual mile-long showcase of motorsports hardware, from 50-plus-foot catamarans to tiny street bikes, is simply unmatched. Although the scene can be a little quiet early in the day, especially if the heat kicks up, thousands of go-fast powerboat fans and assorted desert creatures—no party of its kind offers better people watching—descend on the street at dusk.
So massive that it occupies a healthy section of McCulloch Boulevard and all of intersecting Querio Drive, the DCB Performance Boats exhibit arguably is the lynchpin of the Desert Storm street party. Don’t misunderstand—there are plenty of other outstanding hardware displays, so many, in fact, that visitors have to keep moving if they want to enjoy all of them.
But in terms of scale, nothing touches the DCB showcase.
This year, the El Cajon, Calif.-based custom powerboat builder will have a full range of models, from a new M29 catamaran powered by a dual-calibration Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engine to the jaw-dropping Bananas XL M44 cat that debuted earlier this year, on display at the late April event. And this time around, the company also will showcase a couple of first-time builds.
“We’ll have two new walk-through boats” said Jeff Johnston, the president of DCB. “We’ll display an M28R powered by Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard engines with a full open walk-through from the cockpit to the open bow. And we are going to have an M31 with a mid-cabin walk-through to the open bow. That boat is powered by Mercury Racing 700s, and both boats are the first of their kind.”
Johnson described Desert Storm as DCB’s “most important event of the year.” To that end, the company has reserved a dock at the London Bridge Resort where 10 to 12 DCB creations also will be on display throughout the event.
Though he doesn’t have a final figure, Johnston estimated that 30 to 40 DCB models will be part of the Desert Storm Poker Run fleet the day after the street party. Given that the event typically draws 150 to 160 boats, DCB offerings will make up a significant portion of the fleet.
And that’s exactly how Johnston and the rest the DCB team like it.
“Desert Storm is the first event of the season for us—the first of many events we’ll be part of—and it’s in our backyard so to speak, so it’s very important to us,” he said. “It’s a fun, season-kick-off event, but we also take it seriously. So we make we sure have a strong presence in the street party and on the water.”