What began five years ago as a small group of Formula Boats powerboat owners in New Jersey with a shared love for the brand is taking a big step this year. Not only has the sixth annual Birds on the Bay Formula Rendezvous (the “Birds” designation is taken from the logo of Thunderbird Products, Formula’s parent company) slated for August 22-23 on Barnegat Bay attracted Formula owners from New Jersey and other states, it has now pulled in sponsorship from Formula Boats, Comstock Marina and Sherman’s Boat Basin. What’s more, for the first time the proceeds from the event will go to a worthy cause—a family with a child suffering from Dravet Syndrome, a rare and catastrophic form of intractable epilepsy that begins in infancy, according to the Dravet Syndrome website.
With three sponsors on board and procceeds going to a great cause, the sixth annual Birds On The Bay Formula Rendezvous could have its best year.
The low-cost event has a “captain’s fee” of $115, as well as a fee of $15 per “mate.”
“Thanks to our sponsors, all of the money we collect will go to this family,” said Tom Glowinski, who founded the event and lives in Lanoka Harbor, N.J. “Comstock Marina, the local Formula dealer in Brick, is hosting the Saturday night dinner and having it catered. They’re also donating all the slip fees. Formula is sponsoring the entertainment. Sherman’s Boat Basin is waving launch fees and has opened slips for Formula owners who come in from out of state. These sponsors have given us the ability to give all the money we raise through our attendees to the family. We don’t have a donation ‘goal’ yet, but any money we raise and donate will be more than we did last year, because it is our first year doing this.”
Saturday night’s dinner and musical entertainment will be followed by a fun run to “a local cove” on Sunday, according to Glowinski. He said he is hoping the event will attract a solid fleet of 20-plus Formula models, both new and vintage. Glowinski owns the latter in the form of a 1989 Formula 26 PC he purchased from his parents, Bill and Audrey, 10 years ago when his father decided to step up to a new Formula 312 sportboat.
Glowinski’s love for Formula products came though his parents. As a boy, he read about Formula rendezvous events every year through the company’s marketing materials. That inspired the now 31-year-old to start one of his own in 2009. Slowly but surely, the event has gathered momentum. And with the charitable component now in place, Glowinski said he is expecting that growth to continue. In 2013, the rendezvous attracted 15 boats, up from its first- and third-year totals of nine boats.
“If we have 20 boats—and there are so many variables with weather and mechanical stuff—that will be great,” he said. “Last year, we had 52 people at the dinner on Saturday night. This year, I think we’ll have more. We had 14 boats last year in the rendezvous because the weather wasn’t too good, but I think we’ll have a lot more this year. We have three sponsors right now, too, and we’re still working on that.”
Editor’s note: For participation and sponsorship information, contact Tom Glowinski through the Formula Owners of New Jersey Facebook page.