Although one event remains on the Fort Myers Offshore 2016-2017 schedule, the Florida-based nonprofit club, which raises college scholarship funds for students in need, completed its annual signature fun run to the Sarasota Hyatt last weekend. Despite mixed weather during the three-day event, the run attracted 30 boats. What’s more, the FMO board of directors met during the event and determined that the club will be able to distribute $60,000 in scholarships this year, according to FMO president Eric Belisle, despite “taking a year off” from the organization’s annual auction during the Sarasota weekend.
Last weekend’s FMO run to the Sarasota Hyatt attracted an array of sportboats and performance-oriented center consoles. Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“With the increase in the total amount of scholarships we also decided to increase the per-recipient amount from $2,000 to $3,000,” said Belisle. “This will bring the total scholarships awarded by FMO to $280,000 since the club was founded.”
The weekend began with a trek from the Sanibel Island Bridge—the starting point for all FMO events—to Sarasota.
“We had windy conditions for the ride up on Friday, so most of the boats ran the inside the whole way,” said Belisle. “One of the reasons the destination is great is because we have the option to run on the protected Intracoastal Waterway if the weather does not allow us to run in the Gulf.
"On Saturday, we had a nice run to the Blu Mangrove restaurant for lunch," he continued. "We enjoyed having (speedonthewater.com chief photographer) Pete Boden and a videographer in a helicopter for the run. And Jay Nichols of Naples Image was also able to make the run and take pictures from water-level.”
For more action from the FMO Sarasota Hyatt run, check out the slideshow above.
Belisle credited Peter and Raymond Roberts of Double R Performance, a full-service new and pre-owned powerboat dealership, service/restoration and storage center in Ontario, Canada, for supporting Fort Myers Offshore in Sarasota and throughout the season.
“Peter and Raymond are very good to the club in many ways,” said Belisle. “In addition to being a corporate sponsor, Double R volunteered a financial contribution to be the event sponsor for the weekend.
“And in addition to financially supporting the club all season with all of our events, Peter and Raymond are always lending an extra hand,” he added. “This trip was no exception as Raymond stopped to help two different boats—and neither was a Nor Tech—(the dealership’s primary new brand) that had mechanical issues, both of which he fixed so they could enjoy the weekend.”