What many don’t know about the Million Dollar Run – happening this Easter weekend 24-28 March – is that it’s a game of chance in not one but two ways.
For one, the race pitts some of the fastest boats in the Western Caribbean and North America against each other in an intense hour of cross-island boat racing.
For another, the racers must also concentrate on a playing hand of cards the prize for which is $10,000 in cash and prizes. The irony? The racers make up some of the islands’ most affluent businessmen, who put petal to the metal not for the grand prize but for the prestige of saying…
‘I won the Million Dollar Run.’
It’s that powerful.
‘The Million Dollar Run was born in conversations between Andres Ugland and myself,’ stated Kenny Rankin.
‘As two local businessmen with an active interest in enhancing the lifestyle and tourism product of the Cayman Islands, a high end sporting event was the obvious choice.’
This year, the event is enhanced by a blockbuster lineup of gold sponsors including Cable and Wireless Broadband, Cayman 27, Johnny Walker Black, Taittinger Chamagne, Heineken, Eminent Audio, Grand Old House, Kaibo Yacht Club.
Two local radio stations – Vibe 98.9 FM and Spin 94.9 FM – will broadcast live from the three main events.
The mechanics of poker run boat racing are actually quite simple.
Each participating boat navigates a carefully charted course, stopping at several checkpoints along the route to pick up a sealed envelope containing a single playing card. At the final checkpoint, the remaining cards are pulled, the envelopes are opened and the crew holding the best poker hand is declared the winner.
At the Million Dollar Run, the racers will tear out of Kaibo’s start point.
At speeds reach in excess of 100 miles per hour in their top class crafts, the racers will take the turn around North West Point, continuing up the coast to the Ritz Carlton. At that point, they will retrieve their second card.
After a second lap, they will return to the waiting spectators at Kaibo and randomly retrieve their final three cards.
Poker Runs are events for the entire family. Few spectators will forget the rush of activity when racer Naul Bodden drew his winning card at Million Dollar Run 2004 or when Andres Ugland came ripping into the finish as last year’s race winner.
This year the action kicks off with a Family Day and Boat Show at Kaibo on 2pm Sunday.
Sky Wireless will be on hand with remote control boats and planes. There will be a deluxe Kids Zone with bouncy castle and face painting. Teams are welcome to battle it out at beach volleyball, tug-o-war, and kayaking games. Monster Media – the event organizers – will also have a multi-media tent featuring flash presentations of its media brands.
For more information on the third annual Million Dollar Run presented by Ugland Offshore Racing and The Residences at the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman.
For more information log onto the event website at www.MDR.ky