In 2020, Fort Myers Offshore’s Naples Hyatt House Lunch Run attracted a solid, then-record-setting mix of 28 high-performance center consoles, catamarans and V-bottoms. Yesterday’s version saw 45 boats turn out for the Southwest Florida happening, which was the fifth event of the nonprofit, scholarship-fundraising outfit’s 2020/2021 season.
Yesterday’s record-setting Fort Myers Offshore Naples Hyatt House Lunch Run fleet enjoyed oil-glass conditions in the Gulf of Mexico. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“The 2020/2021 season theme of record-breaking club member participation continues,” said Tim Hill, the president of Fort Myers Offshore. “This one blows out the previous year’s record turnout.”
Heavy morning fog hampered departure for some participants and had the organizers concerned that the helicopter carrying speedonthewater.com chief photographer Pete Boden might not be able to fly in the low-visibility conditions. But the fog lifted in time for the helicopter to lift off, and when the fleet reached Gulf of Mexico for the 30-mile trip from the Sanibel Island Bridge to Naples the water became an oily sheet of glass under blue skies.
“Once again, our captains did an amazing job of staying behind our Sunsation paceboat and lining up in formation for some great group photos,” said Hill. “We had an excellent mix of boats. Bonita Boat Center, a Fountain dealer and a Fort Myers Offshore corporate sponsor, showcased a brand new 43 NX Fountain center console powered by quad Mercury Racing 400R outboards. FMO board-member Eric Belisle debuted his brand-new MTI 390X catamaran with Mercury Racing 450Rs.
Check out the slideshow above to enjoy more images from the Fort Myers Offshore Naples Hyatt House Lunch Run.
Hill credited his wife, Cyndee, and club members Patience Forenski and Miranda Bigelow (of Avalon Pontoons) for selling merchandise and fifty-fifty raffle tickets, the latter of which saw club member Ken Stager take home $1,010.
But success, as Hill and company are learning, can create its own, albeit high-class, challenges.
“It was another epic day for the record books, but while these record turnouts are absolutely incredible I am starting to run out of locations that can accept so many boats and people,” said Hill. “As always our members a great job of rafting up and waiting patiently in lines, which can sometimes be long for food.”
Said Hill, ““Once again, our captains did an amazing job of staying behind our Sunsation pace boat and lining up in formation for some great group photos.”