With the final day of racing underway at the Key West World Championships, a group of close friends of Joey Gratton and his family gathered in Mallory Square to watch the races and memorialize the beloved racer, who died exactly one year ago today on Nov. 11.
Organized by Ellen Greenleaf—a longtime offshore racing public relations representative and an assistant risk manager for American Power Boat Association (APBA)—the group also honored Bob Morgan and Jeff “JT” Tillman, who died last year as well after Morgan’s catamaran flipped during the first day of racing. There were a lot of hugs and many tears shed as the group remembered its offshore racing brethren.
“The Grattons are one of the most incredible families I’ve had the honor of knowing,” Greenleaf said. “Being able to bring together so many special racing friends and world champions to celebrate Joey, Bob and JT’s life is amazing. It’s what those guys would have wanted.”
Although not in Key West, the Gratton family was holding its own celebration to honor the throttleman at their home in Sarasota, Fla.
“We’re doing our own thing here as a family,” said Blake Gratton, one of Joey and Priscilla’s twin boys. “It’s going to be a tough day for sure, but we’re going to celebrate how amazing our dad was. We’ll be lighting some lanterns for him and going to one of his favorite places. The main thing is to just be here for my mom. We’re very thankful for anything anybody is doing to remember our dad today.”
To donate to the Joey Gratton foundation, visit www.joeygratton.com.