Now, when I learn of the existence of a 2700-hp boat that's paired with a 563-hp car, it doesn't take long before I'm plotting a way to race the two. And, to my pleasant surprise, it turns out that both Cigarette and Mercedes are willing to put their very expensive machines on the line to make this happen. In my mind, I'm already surrounded by bikini ladies and rocking out to the musical stylings of Mr. Jan Hammer.
The question is, how do you make this a fair fight? Simply racing from Miami down to the Keys doesn't make sense, because the boat would destroy the car. "These days, pretty much everything that goes out our door does at least 100 mph," says Cigarette COO Hector Rodriguez. The vee-hull AMG boat is good for more than 135 mph, and catamarans can go faster than that. In fact, there's an informal pissing contest among the Florida boat crowd to set the fastest time for the 105-mile trip from the dock to Bimini (in the Bahamas) and back. The current record stands at about forty-five minutes. So clearly, you're not going to jump in a car and beat a boat to the Keys. However, there is a way that we can make this interesting, a way we can even the odds for our poor, mismatched 563-hp Mercedes SLS. We're gonna make this thing a poker run.
On a poker run, the contestants go from point A to point B while making stops along the way to pick up a total of five cards. At the end of the day, the best hand wins. Poker runs are popular among the fast-boat crowd, because they give everyone a chance to get together en masse and go somewhere fun, at high speed, often accompanied by throngs of cheerful ladies whose clothing has mostly fallen off. Around here, the maestro of these events is Stu Jones, president of the Florida Powerboat Club. Jones plans the routes and ensures a fair game, placing all the cards in sealed envelopes and making sure there's no illicit deck stacking. However, when competitors don't like their hands, they can buy another one for $50 or $100 a pop, with the proceeds going to charity.