Highs and Lows from 2013: Ed Champion

sunsation championAt the poker run village in Key West, Ed Champion of Lake Ozarks Marine (from right) stands with Jared Morris, Bob Teague and Joe Schaldenbrand in front of the Sunsation Boats 34 CCX demo model that Lake Ozarks Marine sold at the event.

Although he says his travel schedule won't be as hectic at it was in 2013, we're sure we'll be seeing Ed Champion, sales manager for Lake Ozarks Marine and marketing director for MidwestBoatParty.com, at quite a few events in 2014. Among his highlights from 2013, the Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., resident counts trips to Arizona's Lake Havasu and Florida's Key West, which led to the sale of Lake Ozarks Marine's 34 CCX demo model from Sunsation Boats. He also includes the growth of MidwestBoatParty.com as the popular forum registered its 20,000th member in 2013.

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Highs and Lows from 2013: Erik Christiansen

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For Mercury Racing's Erik Christiansen 2013 has been a year of transition, excitement and demanding, yet rewarding, work. Not only did Christiansen take the reigns from Fred Kiekhaefer, the legendary Mercury Racing president, he also oversaw the roll out of the Fond du Lac, Wis., company's 1650 Race engine (read the story) and the introduction of the highly acclaimed concept automotive 1650 crate engine (read the story), which was showcased in a supercar at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas in November. After his final trip of the year to Dubai in mid-December, speedonthewater.com caught up with Christiansen to get his Highs and Lows from 2013.

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Highs and Lows from 2013: Greg Harris

For someone who doesn't work in the performance-boat business, South Florida specialty realtor Greg Harris was on hand for more events around the country this year than anyone we know (hence the inclusion in our series). Harris and his beautiful girlfriend, Yvonne Aleman, spent 40 nights on the road at boating events such as the Desert Storm Poker Run in Arizona, the Texas Outlaw Challenge, the Pirates of Lanier Poker Run in Georgia, the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri and many in their home state.

greg harris havasuGreg Harris, a moderator on OffShoreOnly.com, and his girlfriend, Yvonne Aleman, made the trip from Florida to Arizona for the 2013 Desert Storm Poker Run.

"We traveled more than 19,000 miles and spent more than $25,000—and we don't even own a boat right now," laughed Harris, adding that Aleman is a catamaran girl after getting her "A-to-Z education" over the past 12 months. Currently shopping for another go-fast ride, Harris, who also is a moderator for OffShoreOnly.com, said he likes traveling to events to see friends, fellow boaters and clients on their home waterways to return the favor when they visit South Florida.

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Highs and Lows from 2013: Terry Sobo

Between rolling out a few new models, attending dozens of poker runs across the country, racing in Puerto Rico, doing demo runs at Thunder Over Louisville—the official kick-off event for the Kentucky Derby Festival—and showcasing its models at various boat shows, Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats has had a busy and successful year. In fact, Terry Sobo, Nor-Tech’s director of sales and marketing, said the year has been one of the best he’s seen in his 20-plus years in the business. Much of that success has to do with the company’s center console lineup, which ranges from 29 to 50 feet, but the builder also has seen an uptick in performance boat sales.

sobo ned dozierNor-Tech dealer Ned Dozier (left) joins Terry Sobo, Nor-Tech's director of sales and marketing, for a fun run during the Key West Poker Run. Photo by Chrissy Knight

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Highs and Lows from 2013: Shaun Torrente

f1h2o qatar13 torrente leap

Our fourth driver in the Highs and Lows from 2013 series is accomplished tunnel boat driver Shaun Torrente. The multi-time national champion from Florida has spent the past two and a half seasons competing internationally in the F1 H2O series (minus a suspended license for the last two races of 2012), a dream he’s had since he started racing. Now we won’t say his ultimate dream came true this year, but the Qatar Team driver finished a remarkable season second in overall points behind teammate Alex Carella, who won the world championship for a third straight year (read the story).

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