The story of Hustler Powerboats founder Paul Fiore, who died late last month, is a microcosm of the highs and lows of 2019. The 76-year-old father of Mike Fiore lived long enough to see the next chapter in Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats—the company his son founded—begin to unfold at the Bristol, R.I., company’s inaugural Factory Fun Run in August. Through tragedies that included the death of his son and Outerlimits company president Joe Sgro three years later, Fiore had watched Outerlimits overcome dark times and reach its 20th anniversary. The standing ovation he received during a dinner that weekend moved him and pretty much everyone else attending to tears.
A year of triumph and tragedy ends one decade as we enter the next. Photo courtesy/copyright Mercury Racing.
Without question, this was a year of celestial highs and benthic lows. Jason Johnson, my fellow offshoreonly.com columnist and speedonthewater.com partner, have been revisiting it all as we put the final touches on the 2019 Speed On The Water Year In Review print magazine, which goes to the printer in less than two weeks. In the process of putting together what will be our fifth annual issue, we’ve looked at every major go-fast boating event, new model release and significant news story that defined the year. So it’s fair to say the material is fresh to us.
As we have for the past several years on offshoreonly.com, each of us has chosen five big stories from 2019. (I actually get six if you include the Fiore/Outerlimits story above.) Johnson’s story will run tomorrow.