If you’re headed to Key West, Fla., next month as part of the Florida Powerboat Club’s annual jaunt to the city at the end of the road or to catch the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships, you probably already know about the Offshoreonly/Speedonthewater Key West Bash on Thursday, Nov. 9. But in case you missed it, the popular online community and leading daily high-performance powerboating news site are combining to host a party for the second year in a row at the Sandbar Sports Grill on Greene Street. The fun starts at 7 p.m.
But here’s what you probably don’t know: At the OSO/SOTW Key West Bash, you have an excellent chance to get lucky. OK, I don’t mean with a member of the opposite sex—you’re on your own there. I’m talking about legit prizes, courtesy of our generous marine industry sponsors, of the live auction and raffle kind. I’m talking about stuff actually worth winning.
On the live auction side, the winning bidder can take home a Pro Marine RC boat painted by Chris Mills—yes, that Chris Mills—of Boat Customs. Or if you’re feeling like something in a bigger boat, how about spending Saturday afternoon on Nov. 11 with Rusty Rahm, Jeff Harris and the rest of the defending Superboat Unlimited-class world champion Wake Effects crew and their 48-foot MTI catamaran?
Last year, we raffled off a pair of Lifeline Race Gear sport jackets. This time around, they’ll be an auction item. And even if you don’t bid on anything, just watching Offshoreonly.com moderator Greg Harris and speedonthewater.com co-publisher Jason Johnson auction off these three big-ticket items will be worth the price of admission, which is free. OK, it’s even better than free because your first drink is on us—while the drink tickets last—and the food buffet—also while it lasts—is on Teague Custom Marine.
Looking for the standard array of boring raffle items that you’ll probably end up leaving at the bar? Look elsewhere, because—again thanks to our sponsors—we’ve got the good stuff, starting with signed official jerseys from the Performance Boat Center, STIHL and WHM Motorsports Superboat-class teams.
For those who appreciate fine audio setups, we’re raffling off a set of Bluave Marine Audio M9.0CXS 9-inch coaxial speakers. For those who appreciate fine wine, we’re raffling off a nine-bottle set—three Cabernet Sauvignon, three Pinot Noir and three Sauvignon Blanc—of Peacock Family Vineyard’s best varietals.
Not interested in speakers or wine? Looking for more marine-specific raffle items? We have plenty of those, too, including a BioKleen cleaning supplies pack, a Mercury Racing Pelican Cooler, a Teague Custom Marine gift pack and a case of AMSOIL from Brand X Hi-Performance Marine.
OK, we know that raffles are games of chance. There’s no guarantee that your five-dollar ticket—and if you buy four tickets you receive a free Offshoreonly.com goodie bag—will win you anything. For those who want a sure thing, we’re selling Key West Strong 2017/Speedonthewater.com T-shirts sponsored by Sterling Performance Engines for $20 a shirt.
Here’s the best part: Every penny raised through the live auction, raffles and T-shirt sales goes directly to Samuel’s House, a nonprofit organization that “provides housing and supportive services for homeless women and intact families to aid them in becoming self-sufficient” in Key West. The money you spend will make a difference at a local, real-world level.
So mark your calendars, save the date and get yourselves there. Because this year in Key West, you really could get lucky.
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.