While performance-boat owners in the Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla., area had the Joey Gratton Memorial Fun Run in their backyard yesterday (read the story), go-fast boat enthusiasts to the south had a local event of their own to attend in the form of the Fort Myers Offshore organization’s New Year’s Day Fun Run to Marco Island. Starting at the Sanibel Bridge, the run to Marco Island—the fourth even in the non-profit club’s 2014/2015 season—attracted 36 boats from center consoles to catamarans, as well as one well-known V-bottom.
Among the 36 boats in yesterday’s FMO Fun Run to Marco Island was Gary Goodell’s Caveman Cigarette. All photos courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.
“We enjoyed having Gary Goodell and his crew in the GEICO Caveman Cigarette,” said Bob Barnhart of Fort Myers Offshore. “They were a big hit with the group, and generously gave out dozens of GEICO T-shirts to boat captains and others. They enjoyed our group as well and say the will be back in the future.”
“I’ve wanted to come down and do this for awhile,” said Goodell, the managing partner of Miss GEICO Offshore Racing and owner of the 38-foot Top Gun Cigarette. “It was good to be here and everyone was wonderful.”
To view more action from the event, check out the slideshow above.
A “designated fundraising” event for Fort Myers Offshore—the club also hosts non-fundraising events throughout its season—yesterday’s Marco Island run to C.J.’s On the Bay restaurant for lunch brought in $6,000 from its members for the club’s education/scholarship foundation. Typically, FMO organizers schedule the event to run between Christmas and New Year’s eve so that it doesn’t conflict with the Joey Gratton Memorial Fun Run in Sarasota on New Year’s day, but that wasn’t possible this year. Still, both events boasted solid turnouts.
“I spoke with Ryan Beckley (the primary organizer of the Joey Gratton Memorial event) when we did our schedule, and he understood and was very supportive,” said Barnhart.