Organizer Ryan Beckley in Sarasota, Fla., is reporting that the upcoming seventh annual Joey Gratton New Year’s Day Memorial Fun Run is on track to attract 75 boats from around the country, as well as both sides of the Sunshine State. The event celebrates the life of Gratton, a widely beloved and respected veteran offshore racer who died following an accident during the 2011 Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla.

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The first organized go-fasting event of 2018, the Joey Gratton Memorial New Year’s Day Fun Run will attract participants from around the country. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

“We’ve been at 75 boats for a few years now,” said Beckley, an offshore racer who owns the Kinetic Animation graphics shop in Sarasota. “It’s looking good so far. There are a lot of people already committed to being here for the entire weekend.”

A number of participants headed to the Gratton event also planning on joining the Fort Myers Offshore group two days earlier for the nonprofit, college scholarship fundraising club's New Year’s Fun Run on Dec. 30, according to Beckley.

“As we have in the past, we’re going to have a New Year’s Eve party at my shop,” he said. “The Blu Mangrove restaurant and the Riviera Dunes Marina will be ready for us the following day. And Graphic Ink in California is handling the event T-shirts again.”

As he has since the Joey Gratton Memorial New Year’s Day Fun Run began, chief photographer Pete Boden will be on hand to capture the event.

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