The 2022 Bayside Poker Run held on Saturday July 30 was a great success on a beautiful day with a slight chop that decreased as the day went on. The event featured small boats cruising the Chesapeake Bay in a navigational competition that included Onancock, Pungoteague, and Nandua creeks. This 16th annual event was sponsored jointly by the Onancock Rotary Club and the Pungoteague Ruritan Club and included 32 boats with a total of 49 actual entries with additional hands purchased by crew members aboard the boats. A total crowd estimated at 175 persons attended the awards celebration.
Following a captain’s meeting, boaters spent a day on the bay locating six checkpoints and two mystery locations. Boaters gathered to attend the awards celebration at the Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club on Pungoteague Creek at the end of the day where thanks to a generous donation from Perdue Foods, the boaters enjoyed a festive chicken dinner.
This year’s small boat competition once again included the ‘Chesapeake Challenge’ in the navigational component of the event. This challenge required the crew of each boat to compete in a physical or nautical activity at each checkpoint. When the final points were tabulated the boat captained by Mark Lusby from Pocomoke River topped the leaderboard by a wide margin with 165 out of a possible 194 points and claimed the $500 prize. The best poker hand for a weekend vacation trip was won by Sam Sellard of Pungoteague Creek. Both winning captains donated $200 of their winnings back to the clubs.
The winner of the Rotary Club raffle for a fully-equipped 17-foot Stingray with a 90 hp motor was Jane Kellam. The Ruritan Club also had smaller raffle prize winners. Virtually all the boat captains received “dock prizes” donated by local merchants.
A record amount of funds was raised to help the clubs provide scholarships to local students and assist local non-profit agencies due to the generosity the following sponsors, Chesapeake Investment Planning, Perdue Farms, Dave’s Auto Cool, Davis Wharf Marine, Shore Tire Auto, PMS Solutions, Island House Restaurant, Keith Lilliston Insurance, Blue Crab Bay, H. W. Drummond, Williams Funeral Homes, Onancock Inn, Boggs Water and Sewage, Sandpiper Marine, Bankers Insurance, Herbert Senn Co., Terry Spence DDS, Atlantic Animal Hospital, Town of Onancock, Davis Disposal, Four Corner Plaza, Pep-Up, ESVA Tourism Commission, Preston Ford, Waterfield’s Seafood, Edward Jones, Bundick Well and Pump, Lusby’s Appliances and A.W. Custis.
In addition to thanking the businesses for their sponsorships, event coordinator Courtney Nottingham also expressed appreciation to the Eastern Shore Post, the Eastern Shore News, WESR Radio, East Point Marina, Keith Lilliston State Farm, Tom Weeks, the Procter and Shelly families, Cokesbury, Eastern Shore Animal Hospital, Exmore Western Auto, Sea Hawk Sports Center, Bill Daugherty, P.G. Ross, Thelma Peterson, Eastern Shore Outfitters, Tankard’s Nursery, Seaworthy Marine, Delmarva Marine Solutions, East Point Marina, Terry Brothers, YMCA, Nutrien, Blue Crab Bay, Captain’s Cove, Taylor Seafood, Eastern Shore Custom Carts and the Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club for helping to make the event possible.