When the New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club president, Dave Patnaude, began calling his organization’s events “rallies” rather than “poker runs,” a few folks accused him of being “politically correct,” which, of course, was pretty funny to anyone acquainted with him. Patnaude wasn’t being politically correct—that’s not in his DNA. He was being inclusive. Right or wrong, poker runs of the aquatic kind have come to be associated with high-performance boats and speed, and Patnaude wanted the NJPPC’s events to “appeal to a broader variety of boats.”
To that end, Patnaude and his board of directors have added a few new events, while retaining some old favorites, to the NJPPC schedule. Here’s a quick rundown of the events, presented by Total Dollar insurance, ahead for club members and their guests.
- Saturday April 9 — Spring Fling at the River Rock Restaurant and Marina, Brick.
- Sunday May 29 — Memorial Day Weekend Social at the Water Street Grill, Toms River.
- Friday June 17-Sunday June 19 — Rally To Honor our Military from Toms River to Atlantic City / Atlantic City Festival of Speed Weekend.
- Sunday July 3 — Brunch Run to Captain’s Inn, Forked River.
- Saturday July 16 — Shore Dreams For Kids, Seaside Heights.
- Saturday August 6 — Rock the River Rally from Toms River to River Rock Restaurant and Marina, Brick.
- Saturday August 27 — Fun Run to Hoffman’s Marina and Waypoint 622 Restaurant, Brielle.
- Saturday September 10 — End of the Season Oyster Creek Inn & Atlantic City Fun Run.
New for the NJPPC season are the April 9, August 6 and August 27 events. Patnaude also is encouraging the club’s more than 200 members to attend two Offshore Powerboat Association races: Point Pleasant/Point Pleasant Beach Offshore Grand Prix on May 20-22, and Lake Hopatcong Grand Prix on September 16-18.
“Our members have three New Jersey-based offshore powerboat races they can attend, or even volunteer to work, including the return of the Point Pleasant race—the race that introduced offshore performance boats to a generation of enthusiasts,” Patnaude said in an NJPPC press release. “Our members will have top priority when it comes to accessing all the fun that these races will have to offer.”
Like the OPA races, the Shore Dreams for Kids event, which provides a day of boat rides, carnival fun and food for mentally challenged children and adults, as well as their families, is not an NJPPC-exclusive event. However, the majority of boat rides are courtesy of NJPPC members, and the event shares a long history of cooperation with the club.
While boat rides for Wounded Warriors on Saturday have been part of the NJPPC’s signature Atlantic City Rally/Festival of Speed, which includes an OPA-sanctioned race on Sunday, for the past few years, Patnaude is adding a new wrinkle this year by encouraging club members to invite a veteran on board for the boat ride “they’ll never forget” between Toms River and Atlantic City.
So far at least, no one has accused him of being “politically correct” with that request.
Matt Trulio is an award-winning journalist who has covered the high-performance powerboat world since 1995. He wrote for Powerboat magazine for 17 years and was the magazine’s editor at large until it ceased publication in 2011. Trulio is the founder, editor-in-chief and publisher of speedonthewater.com, a daily news site that covers the high-performance powerboat realm. He’s also the former editor of Sportboat magazine.