2013 Began in a familiar way. A wonderful group of like minded powerboaters gathered at the 10th street boat ramp in Sarasota to participate in a Powerboating fun run that began over 10 years ago. Coordinated and supported by Ryan Beckley, owner of Kinetic Animation and a long time Offshore Powerboat racer, this event is now something we never want to miss and if you are a powerboating enthusiast who lives within striking distance you shouldn’t miss it.
Since 2012 this Sarasota Fun Run is now known at the Joey Gratton Memorial New Years Day Fun Run, to not only remember “The Man” but to raise money for the Joey Gratton Foundation.
The mission of the foundation is to help provide the opportunity and the means by which children can actively participate in an organized sport that values personal integrity, team and leadership skills, in a fun and healthy learning environment. This is accomplished through donations of equipment and scholarships.
With just over 60 boats and one float plane in attendance, people came from all over the world to participate this year. Boaters from as far away as United Arab Emirates, and Seattle, Washington came to Sarasota to celebrate the life of Joey and raise awareness and money for his foundation.
The event was truly for enthusiasts, powerboats of just about every type lined up for the departure. Flats boats, small to large center consoles, party barges, real race boats, and a large selection of performance powerboats.
The crew on hand to support Powerboat Nation was lucky enough to be invited to Offshore Racer Billy Glueck’s shop for an outrageous New Years Eve Toga Party, complete with roasted pig, party beverages and interesting video show brought by David Branch and his entourage.
I am now committed to spending all of my foreseeable New Years Days in Sarasota. A grass roots fun run that brings a really cool group of people together to bring in each New Year and now to remember and celebrate the life of our lost Friend and Offshore Racer Joey “The Man” Gratton. Special thanks to the Powerboat Nation Crew, who made it all possible to attend this year. Jason Ventura, Celeste Segredo, Greg Harris, Yvonne Aleman, and Travis Loftland. Brand X Hi-Performance Marine and Native Engines!