For the past three years, speedonthewater.com chief photographer Pete Boden and Skater Powerboats catamaran owners Chris LaMorte and Ryan Beckley have organized a New Year’s Eve photo shoot in Sarasota, Fla., in advance of the Joey Gratton Memorial New Year’s Day Fun Run. Weather permitting, that New Year’s Eve tradition, which has yielded some spectacular images since it began, will continue this year.
Down from New York, the Bronx Phantom crew found itself above the water during the 2019 New Year’s Eve Photo Shoot. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
For Boden, the aerial photo session is a hometown affair open to “anyone in town for the Joey Gratton run,” which is organized by Beckley. The only caveat is that participants need to be willing to run offshore rather than in the protected waters of Sarasota Bay.
“It’s for anyone who wants to run in the Gulf of Mexico versus flat water,” said Boden.
“The whole key to it is getting everyone out in the Gulf of Mexico,” said LaMorte, who lives in New Jersey but keeps his 36- and 24-foot cats at Beckley’s Kinetic Animation shop in Sarasota during the winter. “I’m always game so I help push it along with Ryan.
“Pete shows up in a helicopter and we lead the group out Big Pass and north around Anna Maria Island and back down Sarasota Bay, then stop somewhere for lunch,” he added. “It’s pretty simple really.”
More details for would-be participants will be available on Boden’s Shoot 2 Thrill Facebook page as the date approaches.
After the photo session, participants typically head for a waterfront lunch spot.