Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Personal Watercraft Poker Run, Other Events Coming to Amelia; Hundreds of Enthusiasts Are Expected to Attend

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Personal Watercraft Poker Run, Other Events Coming to Amelia; Hundreds of Enthusiasts Are Expected to Attend

Article excerpt

Byline: KEVIN TURNER

FERNANDINA BEACH -- More than 100 personal watercraft enthusiasts are expected to converge on Amelia Island next weekend for a poker run and other competitive events.

The fourth Florida Personal Watercraft Rally Series will make its first stop at Fernandina Beach Saturday and Sunday. Personal watercraft vehicles are often called "Jet Skis," a trademark for watercraft made by Kawasaki Motors Corp.

The series hosts events in several Florida cities each year, said event organizer Tim McKercher, general manager of Melbourne-based WaterTop Unlimited. Northeast Florida is its last stop for the series this year; there have also been rallies in St. Petersburg and Sebastian.

"The concept is to have a family-style 'Bike Week' for watercraft," McKercher said. "Participants can have a mini-vacation while having fun on watercraft. There will be 100 to 140 participants from all over the country. We try to pick locations that offer a wide variety of individuals a lot of fun on and off land."

The Amelia Island-Fernandina-Yulee Chamber of Commerce expects the event will have a positive impact on the community, Special Events Coordinator Sandy Price said.

"I think it's an exciting event," Price said. "It showcases Amelia Island and what it offers to watercraft fans, with our access to the Intracoastal Waterway and inland waterways. I think the visitors will have a good time shopping, eating at area restaurants and all the things the island has to offer."

McKercher said he's also looking forward to the event's debut here.

"We are excited to bring people to the . . . Amelia Island area and show them how much fun it is to ride there and why it is a true U.S. boating mecca," he said.

Participants will gather at 10 a.m. Saturday at the North End Boat Ramp, where a guided tour of Amelia Island will begin, along with personal watercraft racing events and demonstrations. …

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