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Nasso Rules New Jersey Waves

NJPPC president Dave Patanaude (left) and Joe Nasso, photo copyright Tim Sharkey.

No group in the go-fast powerboat world is more cohesive than the New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club. And within that 200-member tribe—and tribe is the right word for this totally bonded club—there’s no stronger member than Joe Nasso. That’s why NJPPC’s selection of Nasso 2009 Powerboater of the Year makes perfect sense.

Full disclosure: Nasso is a valued friend. Thanks to fellow NJPPC member Bob Christie—also a valued friend —I’ve been on a couple of poker runs with Nasso. I’ve also spent lots of time with him at events from the Miami International Boat Show to the Super Boat International Key West Offshore World Championships.

So I make no pretense at objectivity. But that doesn’t make Nasso’s selection any less deserving. According to NJPPC president Dave Patanaude, Nasso participates in every function, particularly those involving charity, the club puts on.

“He exemplifies what the New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club is all about and what the club stands for,” Patanaude said in press release from the club. “He also shares everyone’s passion for powerboating as well as being extremely generous of his time and assets.”

For Nasso, who fell in love with offshore performance-boating in 1989 when his friend Pete Mazzo gave him a ride on a 32’ Hustler called “Tough Enough” and has participated in more than 20 poker runs, being part of the club is bigger than good times on the water.

“This club is like one big family,” he told me this afternoon. “It’s all about our members that keep it afloat. It’s not about one person.”

And for Nasso at least, it’s not about having the fastest boat in the fleet. His ride is a 36-foot-long Concept center console with twin 250-hp Verado outboard engines. Though he said he loves the NJPPC’s annual Atlantic City Poker Run, the club’s charitable events capture his heart.

“My favorite day is the same every year—Shore Dreams for Kids,” he said. “I’ve been doing Shore Dreams since before the club was involved with it, back when it was Day on the Bay.

“I try to give 110 percent to the club every day, and do whatever I can to help make it work,” Nasso added. “Being selected for this—it’s an honor, definitely.”