When Rey Marino of Hellkats Powerboats wanted to showcase his Miami-based company’s new 32-foot, he ran it in the inaugural Keys Island Runners Key West Poker Run in April. Marino, who died in a nighttime boating accident last month, was a fan of the grassroots boating group, and he and Daniel Garcia, III, the outfit’s founder, were friends.
Keys Island Runners will honor Hellkats Powerboats founder Rey Marino (captured here running his first 32-foot catamaran) with an event in his name early next year. Photo courtesy/copyright Keys Island Runners.
On February 25-26, the club will honor the ambitious 36-year-old boatbuilder with the inaugural Rey Marino Memorial Fun Run to Key Largo and the Islamorada Sandbar. The event will raise money for Wesley House, a Key West-headquartered nonprofit, nationally accredited organization “dedicated to protecting and nurturing children and strengthening families with services spanning Monroe County, Florida.”
“Rey played a huge roll in the growth of Keys Island Runners,” said Garcia. “He was the one who really was able to get bigger boats involved when he started building the 30-foot Hellkat catamaran at an affordable price. His competitive spirit really pushed others to want to join the Keys Island Runners events to see what the Hellkats Powerboats had compared to their setups.
The event will kick off Friday with a late-afternoon with a meet-and-greet at Gilbert’s Resort and Tiki Bar in Key Largo, followed by a sunset raft-up in Buttonwood Sound Basin. The Saturday fun run from Buttonwood Sound Basin to the Islamorada sandbar for a raft-up with begin at noon.
Garcia currently is exploring group-rate lodging options and will announce specifics as he nails them down through Key Island Runners social media channels including its Instagram and Facebook accounts.
The early 2022 event holds a special place in the heart of Garcia, who lives in Key West, Fla., and many of the members of the 32,000-member group he founded via Instagram.
“Rey was someone I could always count on for support,” he said. “He and I had a relationship that really helped each other’s growth. He helped me and I helped him. He’s someone the whole Keys Island Runners family will miss dearly. He was a good man with a very bright future ahead of him.
Year In Review Sneak Peek: Keys Island Progression
Hellkats Powerboats Founder Rey Marino Missing After Tuesday Night Accident
Sneak Peek: New Hellkats 32 Catamaran Debuting In Keys Island Runners Event
Photo Essay: Kicking It Casual With Keys Island Runners
Keys Island Runners Heading Back To Islamorada For A Great Cause