“I always wanted to test boats with a Hall of Famer.” That’s what Shaun Torrente lightheartedly posted on his Instagram page as we set out to run an MTI 340X during the late-August Speedonthewater.com Mercury Racing Verado 400R Sport Cat Roundup on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, two days after I was inducted into the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Hall of Fame.
Shaun Torrente collected a handful of trophies during the 10th annual UIM Awards Giving Gala in Monaco on Saturday (click image to enlarge). Photo courtesy Khalid Al Saadi/ADIMSC
Little did I know I was testing boats with the eventual Union Internationale Motonautique 2018 Driver of the Year, one of the highest honors a boat racer can achieve. I’d tested boats with world champions before—Steve David, Bob Teague and John Tomlinson—but none of them to my knowledge were named UIM Driver Of The Year during the time I shared a cockpit with them in my Powerboat magazine days.
So, after winning two world titles in the same season, I can now say I get to test boats with the Driver Of The Year. It’s even posted on my Instagram account to prove it along with a picture of him on the cover of the Speed On The Water 2018 Year In Review magazine. Unintentional as it may be, it was cool that the 2018 Driver Of The Year was driving the MTI 340X that graced the cover of the collector’s edition magazine.
In all seriousness, the recognition couldn’t have gone to a more deserving person, in my opinion. And based on the images and videos I saw from Saturday night’s 10th annual UIM Awards Giving Gala at the iconic Salle des Etoiles, Sporting Monte-Carlo in Monaco, the Italian affair in which they met Albert II, Prince of Monaco, was an evening Torrente and his wife, Flavia, are never going to forget.
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