Friends and family members of former Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats president Joe Sgro came together in New York City this weekend to celebrate the life of the well-known 66-year-old high-performance marine industry and offshore racing veteran, who died from injuries sustained in a boating accident on November 9, 2017.
More than 40 boats took to the Hudson River yesterday in celebration of Joe Sgro (click image to enlarge). Photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.
Approximately 300 people turned out for Friday evening’s catered dinner and celebration, which featured multi-media displays chronicling Sgro’s life from photographer Tim Sharkey and family friend Dan Pickering. Attendees from various walks of Sgro’s life, including the transportation and marine industries, came to honor him.
“There was a vast spectrum of people—from a millionaire to a bus driver—he affected,” said Joe Sgro, Jr., who was joined by his brothers John, Patrick and Paul, sisters Julie and Maggie, and their mother, Eileen, in the celebration. “It went amazingly well and the turnout was better than we could have anticipated. It definitely was a nice testament to who he was.”
“Joe never looked down on anybody and he always focused on the good in people rather than the bad, because nobody is perfect,” said Joe Cibellis, the primary organizer of the event and longtime Sgro family friend. “He always made everyone feel human, and that translated throughout the weekend.”
On Saturday, 44 registered vessels from a Sundancer yacht to various Outerlimits sportboats took to the Hudson River for a lunch run from Liberty Landing to Louie’s Grille and Liquors restaurant. After lunch, the fleet returned to its starting point for an afternoon celebration.
Cibellis said that a number of people made the event, which they plan to hold annually, a success. They included the entire Sgro family, Jason Dalli of Liberty Landing, Billy Frenz of the National Powerboat Association, Steve Curtis, Billy Betz and Steve Marker.
“People came from everywhere—Ohio, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire and so on—and I think everybody was happy,” he said. “There were no egos involved, just a nice boat ride in honor of Joe. I know that if Joe is looking down on us he’d be very happy with the way it went.”
Joe Sgro (third from left) with Mike Fiore (left), Nigel Hook (right) and an unidentified racer during the Powerboat P1 Malta Grand Prix of the Sea.
Said Joe Sgro, Jr., “I think a lot of the reason my dad got involved with Outerlimits after (company founder) Mike Fiore died was to honor him and keep the company going. Hopefully, we can do the same for my father.”