The fourth event of the Fort Myers Offshore 2018/2019 season, yesterday’s New Year’s Lunch Run from the Sanibel Island Bridge to CJ’s at the Esplanade on Marco Island in Southwest Florida pulled in more than 50 boats. Though the total amount of money raised and donated to the nonprofit organization’s college scholarship fund is not yet in, the event was the second “designated fundraiser” of the FMO season.
Sport catamarans such as this Wright Performance 360 owned by Mark Munro and performance center consoles from Mystic, Nor-Tech and Renegade dominated the mix in yesterday’s Fort Myers Offshore lunch run to Marco Island (click image to enlarge). Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
According to speedothewater.com chief photographer Pete Boden, conditions for the run were flat and midday temperatures were in the mid 80s. The fleet included a particularly impressive mix of sport catamarans from DCB Performance Boats, MTI, Pilini Marine, Skater Powerboats and Wright Performance.
“The last few days were windy but it laid down the night before and we had flat calm water,” said Eric Belisle, the current president of FMO. “We ended up with just shy of 60 boats. We also had several new members participate, including new corporate sponsor Mindi Doller from Performance Boat Center of South Florida who was with a customer in a 36-foot Doug Wright catamaran.
“And we sold all of the men’s clothing gear we had and almost all of the women’s gear,” he added.
Though several full-size stern-drive catamarans and V-bottom sportboats were in the mix, performance center consoles including FMO founder and former president Bob Barnhart’s new Mystic Powerboats M4200 called Predator 2.0 and a healthy Nor-Tech contingent comprised much of the fleet.
“I think every fourth boat in the fleet was a Nor-Tech,” said Peter Roberts of Canada-based Nor-Tech Double-R Performance, who didn’t participate in the run but met the fleet at the lunch stop.
For Barnhart, who ran Predator 2.0 to Key West last month for the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships and Florida Powerboat Club happenings, it was his first FMO event in the new 42-foot Mystic
“It was awesome,” he said “We had great weather after morning fog lifted—the sun came out and the seas were calm for the open water run to Marco, and CJ’s is a great destination for the club. There were three Mystics, mine and two 38-footers, in the run.
“Mike and Victoria Livorsi (of Livorsi Marine fame) were on board for the run,” he added, then laughed. “Victoria has renamed the boat.”
The new name for Barnhart’s new 42-foot Mystic center console is only temporary.
FMO’s next event is its Naples Hyatt run on Jan. 29.