Tim Hill, the president of Fort Myers Offshore, and his fellow board members are feeling pretty good right now. Heading into yesterday’s lunch run to Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda, Fla., the nonprofit scholarship-fundraising organization had a string of 11 attendance record-setting events dating back to its 2020/2021 season.
It was all smiles for participants in yesterday’s record-setting Fort Myers Offshore Burnt Store Fun Run. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Now, with 48 boats in yesterday’s happening, they are 12 for 12 with record-setting runs, though the day didn’t unfold quite the way they envisioned it.
“Our plan was to run the outside in the Gulf so that (speedonthewater.com chief photographer) Pete Boden could get some shots in the turquoise waters off Sanibel and Captiva Islands but mother nature had other ideas for us,” he said. “With winds at 16 knots out of the east, I decided Friday we would run the protected waters of the Intracoastal Waterway.
“We are very fortunate to have the luxury of running in the smooth waters of the Intracoastal Waterway,” he added. “With some of the center consoles capable of speeds well into the 80s and 10 passengers on board, the ICW is a much safer option for us when the Gulf of Mexico gets sporty.”
Hill credited local community members with helping get all the boats securely docked—the size of the fleet, he said, created a few challenges. But once that was handled, some 250 participants enjoyed a Southern barbecue lunch.
Enjoy more images from yesterday’s Fort Myers Offshore event in the slideshow above.
“The Cass Cay staff didn’t miss a beat,” Hill said. “I feel like at some of our destinations we overwhelm the staffs when we roll in with 50 boats and 300 people all wanting food and drink immediately but they did a great job for us. Our 50-50 raffle was another record-setter with $1,430 going to Patience and Bill Forenski.”
The final event of the 2021/2022 season, the Cayo Costa Beach Raft-Up is April 9.
“My wife (and fellow Fort Myers Offshore board member), Cyndee, is still planning an FMO overnight for the end of April or early May,” he added. “We are just having trouble finding a location from the Keys to Tampa that can accommodate us during that time. Hopefully we’ll have more details soon.”