Next to the annual early summer Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival, this could be the busiest time of the year for organized go-fast boating events in Southwest Florida. Last Saturday, the Fort Myers Offshore club held its New Year’s fun run to Marco Island and the event attracted 58 boats. The following day, a smaller group of club members and guests headed—by water of course—for Cayo Costa Beach.
In town for the Joey Gratton Memorial New Year’s Day Fun Run, South Florida’s Greg Harris and Yvonne Aleman found the best light of the day during yesterday’s Hula Bay lunch run in Mad Props, Harris’ 32-foot Skater catamaran (click image to enlarge). Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Under mostly grey skies yesterday, a 15- to 20-boat fleet of go-fast catamarans, V-bottoms and center consoles ran 55 miles from Sarasota to Tampa for lunch at the Hula Bay Waterside Restaurant. Later today, another group will run in the Gulf of Mexico for the third annual New Year’s Eve photo shoot organized by speedonthewater.com chief photographer Pete Boden.
And the ninth annual Joey Gratton Memorial New Year’s Day Fun Run is on tap tomorrow. Sarasota-based organizer Ryan Beckley said he is expecting up to 80 boats.
“We could have more than that,” he said. “It’s always tricky to get a final count as we don’t have formal registration for the event.”
Floridian Bill Munyan, who purchased a new Skater Powerboats 368 catamaran from Skater man extraordinaire Ron Szolack, started the Hula Bay run tradition. As usual, he was joined in the cockpit of new his 36-footer by his son, Jack. The Munyans and other well-known members of the performance-boating community including Chris Ryder, Chris LaMorte, Greg Harris and Yvonne Aleman and more will take to the water for today’s lunch run and photo shoot.
“It looks like it could be a little lumpy out there today,” Boden said.
Check out the slideshow above for more images from yesterday’s lunch run from Sarasota to Tampa.
Speedonthewater.com will present a gallery of those images this evening. In the meantime, enjoy Boden’s Hula Bay run images from yesterday. We’ll publish another photo gallery from today’s shoot this evening and, of course, have complete coverage of tomorrow’s Joey Gratton event.
Ever gracious and generous, Michigan’s Don Doty treated friends to a ride in his spectacular Skater catamaran.
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