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“What we pride ourselves on is a five-star event,” said DiMarco, who is also president of DiMarco Marine & Performance (www.dimarcomarineperformance.com) in Newark, Del. “The location is the crown jewel on the upper Chesapeake. It’s nothing shy of a five-star wedding. The facility is just phenomenal.”
That venue is the Chesapeake Inn & Marina (www.chesapeakeinn.com) in Chesapeake City. The Inn opens for registration for the captains and crews on Friday at noon and that coincides with the 10th annual Friday afternoon dock party. There is docking for the participants and there are multiple ramps nearby. Additionally, boatowners who need 93 octane can find across from the inn at Shaffer’s Canal House. On Friday evening, there’s a VIP cocktail party for Event Sponsors on the Outdoor Veranda deck at the inn.
In addition to finding a great host facility, DiMarco and his staff make sure that poker runners get an all-inclusive package for the $675 registration fee ($700 on the day of the event) including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Saturday starts with a breakfast buffet from 7:10 a.m. to 10 a.m. and any final boat registrations.
The mandatory driver’s meeting takes place at 9:30 and the fleet of approximately 45 boats will leave the marina at 10:30. The first card stop is at the mouth of Still pond and then the fleet heads to checkpoint #2 a quarter mile offshore from the entry to Tolchester Marina. Then it’s off to stop three, Sunset Cove Beach Bar in Middle River, Md., where lunch will be served. After lunch, the boats head to the Shanty dock/bar and Tolchester Marine before returning to the Chesapeake Inn.
One of the appealing aspects of the Chesapeake Bay is that it offers a variety of conditions. The fleet ranges in size from 26’ to 50’ and this year’s participants include a turbine-powered boat plus the 50’ Outerlimits catamaran, Golddigger. DiMarco said that participants have come from as far away as New England and last year, Florida Powerboat Club President Stu Jones attended.
As part of the first-class treatment that the poker runners receive, DiMarco provides a helicopter for aerial photography and participants can purchase the pictures during the Saturday night dinner party at the Chesapeake Inn’s Banquet Room. For more information, go to www.thunderinthecity.com.