John Roth has been moved to the sidelines this weekend, but he's still smiling.
The Long Beach, Calif., man had plans to run his 42-foot Outer Limits high performance boat in the 13th annual Desert Storm 2011 Poker Run and Shootout on Lake Havasu this weekend.
"But during a test run, I lost an oil pump," he said Friday. "I may just take my deck boat out and be a spectator."
The other 150 participants in the 13th annual event have no intention to just watch.
"I've gone to Lake San Antonio (in Bradley, Calif.), Lake Mead and a few other California lakes. But a lot of them have speed limits," said Michael Graham. "So I thought it would be fun to come here. I've heard a lot of good things about Lake Havasu."
The pharmaceutical salesman from Thousand Oaks, Calif., not only brought his 27-foot Hallett to his first Desert Storm, he brought his parents and his brother, Ramik.
"I just love the speed and being on the water," he said.
Chris Fenelon, along with his partner, Dave Abrams, is another first timer. Fenelon said they brought their 42-foot MTI from Saddle River, N.J., to "check out the sights and play."
"The season in New Jersey is just getting started," Fenelon said. "This is the place to be right now."
Fenelon is sharing the fun. He's one of 11 Desert Storm participants that offered rides during Friday's poker run to Marines in Camp Pendleton's Wounded Warrior Battalion West. The Marines were at Desert Storm courtesy of Lake Havasu City's Karen Gill and Lake Racer LLC's Jim Nichols, the event promoter.
"This is just unbelievable," said Marine Cpl. Brett Capo, who was riding with Fenelon. "The support we've seen here is phenomenal. We've all talked and agree this is the time of our lives."
Capo, a machine gunner, suffered a traumatic brain injury during a tour in Afghanistan, with recurring balance issues the result.
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