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A Passion For Jacksonville

What do all single-event organizers in the powerboating world have in common? First, day jobs—all of them work at something other than organizing to pay the bills. Second, relentless passion for the events they organize. Without that level of devotion, those events never happen in the first place, much less survive through the years.

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Organizer Greg Harris refused to let the Jacksonville River Rally And Fun die, which is why the event continues to succeed. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Take Greg Harris, for example, the guy behind the Jacksonville River Rally And Fun Run set for June 21-23 this year in the Northern Florida City. A successful residential real estate agent in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Harris has plenty—in addition to serving as a moderator on the offshoreonly.com message boards—to keep him busy. Working long days and weekends comes with the territory of selling big-buck properties on the Florida coast. From showing homes to closing deals, it’s a high-touch business.

But since January, Harris has gradually ramped up his work on the Jacksonville run, an event he came to love as a participant when it was run by Bill Pyburn, Sr., a retired firefighter whose same-named son is among the best-known members of the national high-performance powerboating community. When Bill Pyburn, Sr., decided that organizing the event had become too much for work—the man is retired, after all—a few years ago, Harris stepped up.

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