Fort Myers Offshore president Tim Hill expected a solid turnout for yesterday’s lunch run to Fisherman’s Village in Punta Gorda in Southwest Florida. But even Hill, who produced a blockbuster offshore powerboat race in Fort Myers Beach with his wife, Cyndee, and fellow organizer Mike Shepherd last month, was pleasantly surprised to have 165 people distributed in 32 boats participate in the third run of the nonprofit scholarship fundraising organization’s eight-event 2019/2020 season.
“This year, we had a lunch at a new restaurant, Village Brewhouse,” said Hill. “They did a great job hosting and handling our group, which was 20 people more than the estimate I gave them.”
“We had a great mixture of boats with several high-performance V-bottoms, stern-drive cats, outboard cats, and, of course, center consoles, including the 55-foot Seven Marine outboard-powered Nor-Tech owned by Mel Wann,” he continued. “I slowed down to 55 mph at one point to have Pete Boden, who was shooting from the boat, get some photos. After that, I couldn’t stay in front of it. I couldn’t believe how fast it was—I think they were baking cookies while cruising at 65 mph.”
The daylong happening, which saw blue skies, temperatures in the low 80s, flat water and light breezes was the first designated fundraiser of the club’s 2019/2020 season. (A final total for money raised yesterday is not yet available.) Cyndee Hill, who also serves as an FMO board member, released new FMO apparel and “was busy all afternoon selling out of almost every size,” according to her husband.
Check out the slideshow above to enjoy more images from yesterday’s FMO happening.
“Our 50/50 raffle winner took home $810,” he said. “Board members Bill Forenski and Nick Amelio also participated in yesterday’s event.”
Next up on the FMO schedule is its New Year’s run, which is set for December 28. Based on last year’s 50-plus-boat turnout, Hill said he is expecting record participation for the upcoming event.
“Given yesterday’s great turnout I’m hoping we see 70 boats for the FMO New Year’s run,” he said. “And we welcome anyone who is running the Joey Gratton Memorial New Year’s Day Fun Run in Sarasota to join us.”