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Commentary: In The Lead And On The Backstretch

If you haven’t watched the latest episode of Speed On The Water’s “In The Lead” video series featuring two-time tunnel-boat world champion and high-performance marine product designer/fabricator Shaun Torrente, stop reading right now and click here. The 10-minutes-and-change segment went live last Friday.

The story of Shaun Torrente is one of endless drive and ambition—and the power of family. Photo by Coleman McGowan copyright speedonthewater.com.

Torrente’s story, from his high-energy childhood in Miami, to his rise in powerboat racing’s most demanding discipline, to his current success as a product manufacturer, is beautiful. It’s a moving tale of dream-catching and how family—from early times to current day—made it possible.

Of course, as the co-writer of the series, I’m a teensy bit biased. But I’m not wrong.

Torrente’s story is the third of seven in the “In The Lead” series videos being produced by Brad DiMaggio and Ryan Wenk of Scrapyard Media and supported by Mercury Racing, Hamilton Marine Finance and MYCO Trailers. The last one focused on Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats founders Trond Schou and Nils Johnsen, a couple of sharp, ambitious Norwegians who came to America and realized a dream of their own. The first episode chronicled the journey of Grant Bruggemann, a world-champion offshore racer and world-class powerboat rigger, from Queensland, Australia to Steamboat Springs, Colo., and—eventually—to his home in Florida.

WATCH IN THE LEAD WITH SHAUN TORRENTE HERE

Next up in the series are Performance Boat Center’s Brett Manire and Mark Waddington, John Cosker of Mystic Powerboats, Waves and Wheels’ Justin Wagner and Tony Chiaramonte of DCB Performance Boats. They’re all substantially different from one another in temperament and personality, but like Bruggemann, Johnsen, Schou and Torrente they have one quality precisely in common.

They’re dreamers. And at one point or another, all were told they were wasting their time, that their dream wouldn’t work.

That didn’t deter them. On the contrary, it fueled them.

WATCH IN THE LEAD WITH TROND SCHOU AND NILS JOHNSEN HERE

All of which makes telling their stories a privilege, one that required considerable faith on their parts. None of the subjects had creative input, much less approval rights, for their videos. That doesn’t mean we ignored their suggestions and ideas, but in the end they had to trust us and let go—never an easy thing to do for such passionate and driven individuals.

Now we exhale and start again. We’re on the backstretch of a dream of our own—if you will—to produce a one-of-a-kind video series devoted to real storytelling.

Like you—at least we hope—we can’t wait to see what’s next.

WATCH IN THE LEAD WITH GRANT BRUGGEMANN HERE

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Airing Today: In The Lead With Nor-Tech’s Trond Schou And Nils Johnsen
Behind The Scenes With The Speed On The Water ‘In The Lead’ Video Series Crew
Speed On The Water Launching ‘In The Lead’ Video Series

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