Every April for the past 12 years, the sights and sounds of the Desert Storm Poker Run have been a part of my life and my story telling between my job at Powerboat magazine and now Speedonthewater.com. Well I guess that’s not 100-percent correct since the organizers of the popular event in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., decided to move it to the first week of May this year.
Between spectators checking out his boat in the start parade through the Lake Havasu Channel to the run to Topock, Daniel Hafid seemed to enjoy the Desert Storm Poker Run on Friday. Photo by Jason Johnson
Traveling to Lake Havasu in early May wasn’t the only thing new for me in terms of last week’s Desert Storm Poker Run. It also was the only time I’ve ever been in an Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats V-bottom on the Colorado River-fed lake and it was my first time doing the poker run with a first-time participant. Both of those experiences were courtesy of Outerlimits’ Dan Kleitz, who helped coordinate more than 10 Outerlimits that were in town for the event, and the boat’s owner, Southern California performance boater Daniel Hafid, who picked up his low-hours 2014 Outerlimits SL 52 with twin Mercury Racing 1350s just in time for the 2016 boating season.
Named Da Racing with a home base of Newport Beach, Calif., the 52-foot V-bottom sits on a lift behind Hafid and his wife Ronnie’s home in the beautiful harbor and pulls much of its duty running to and from Catalina Island with occasional jaunts to Dana Point and Long Beach. Hafid, who is a member of Southern California Offshore Performance Elite (SCOPE), and his family owned four Fountain Powerboats offshore V-bottoms before purchasing the Outerlimits. He said the allure of Lake Havasu—along with the chance to meet some more Outerlimits owners—prompted him to register for this year’s poker run.