by , 08-03-2008 at 03:23 PM (30663 Views)
June 20: I have often stereotyped all New Yorkers as obnoxious and pushy. However, after back-to-back trips
to this region for the NPBA New York Liberty Landing and NJPPC Atlantic City poker runs, I stand more than corrected.
All of the people we met at the event were friendly, cooperative and genuine — in many cases, more so than some
from the West Coast. Making generalizations and assumptions without much personal experience is irresponsible
Joining us for breakfast at Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty restaurant in Toms River, N.J., was Dave Patnaude,
president of the NJPPC. Dave is a big man with a great attitude. He stressed safety during the drivers' meeting
and told everyone to watch for the other boats.
After the meeting, we immediately ran into Bob Christie, owner of Typhoon Performance Marine, with his 44’ MTI Speed Racer boat. He gave us a great interview and spoke about the handling of the million-dollar ride — as well as the recent live-action Speed Racer movie, which I haven’t seen but Bob seemed indifferent about.
We only got a couple interviews before everyone was ready to take off for Jersey’s own version of Sin City. Dave lined up a ride for Earl, Blair, Cherie and Estie in Joe Amoroso's 39’ Outerlimits.
Once the boats got past the long stretch of Island Beach State Park, most of the larger boats ventured out into the Atlantic. However, several zig-zagged past the Barnegat Bay Lighthouse and into Little Egg Harbor remaining in the Intracoastal to the Trump Marina.
Daniella and I took off in the chase van. I got lost on my way to the Garden State Parkway, and ended up stopping a trooper for directions. He was slightly indignant because I had gotten out of my vehicle to approach him. The 90-minute drive went fast, and Daniella was refreshingly intelligent for a young, attractive model.
However, I was slightly concerned about our crew out in the open water.
I was grateful to get into Atlantic City and find that all of the boats had arrived. It was a long run out in the open water for 80 miles.
We spent the entire afternoon shooting at the marina. I noticed there was an exceptionally large number of Outerlimits at this event: 16 of 54 participants, which was spearheaded by company President Mike Fiore.
One of the more impressive machines on display was Robert Marsalona's 46’ Outerlimits called Fleet Flyer.
Outerlimits supporters Pete Mazzo and offshore champion Joe Sgro in his 51’ Sport were there in full force for Team Outerlimits.
It was thrilling to run into so many familiar faces and friends. Once again, I ran into my friend Bill Beccaro, who knows how to drive a boat in open water very well. All of my previous experiences with him have been primarily at the Miami International Boat Show, eating at fine restaurants. One of the more recent occasions was at Danny Devito’s restaurant in Miami, where we ran into Peyton Manning and Jason Taylor while members of both the Democratic and Republican National Committee parties ate with Bill and our party. On this occasion, Beccaro drove with Mark Jameson in his 36’ Gladiator Cigarette. Mark is a talented rapscallion with a huge heart and another newfound friend of mine.
John the Plumber, whom we had met the previous week at the Liberty Landing run, flirted with Cherie at lunch. Afterwards, Cherie got bored standing around and began shooting the models on her own, which all the spectators were delighted to watch. Many of the shots were provocative, as the models were much more relaxed shooting for another model.
We ran into Jason and Lauren Yates in their 50’ Hustler. We had met them the previous week at the New York run. Lauren had initially been uptight about having models being photographed on the boat, though she relented after speaking with Cherie and Estie. Even so, they declined to be interviewed the following day. It was slightly uncomfortable running into them with the same models, but everyone was cordial.
After wrapping up the day, we got hammered at the dockside bar with several NJPPC members, who were all leaving to get ready for the party being held at Trump Towers across the street. Dave and his wife are truly wonderful people and I got to know one of our new friends, photographer Tim Sharkey.
We attended the party, but were not in proper attire, as our clothes were back in Toms River.
Dave did a great job mingling with everyone. Here he is with the beautiful Georgia Perentheisis and stunning Mrs. Debi Mazzo, with Pete in the background. It was a long drive back. Blair and the models sang the same song, The Fray's “How to Save a Life,” 15 times in a row.
June 21: We drove back down to Atlantic City for the Fun Run. Blair and I along with Cherie and Daniella caught a ride with Dave and his wife. The 15-minute ride from Trump Marina to Longport was rough in his center-console Concept. The girls maneuvered to the back of the boat while Blair and I bounced from wave to wave in front.
Many of the boats stayed at Trumps Marina to begin their journey back to Toms River as a big storm was reportedly thundering in the following day. However the 15 boats that did go had a blast out on the water. Earl and Estie rode with Gabe, Lori and Phillip Jasper in their 42’ Outerlimits, called Legacy.
Dave was much more relaxed than on the previous day, and had a good time running with his friends. The lunch stop was at Prestos Restaurant, which is under new management. The food was great, but they were out of many items and were way understaffed.
I served water and soda to several of the tables to help out. After lunch, we said our goodbyes and caught a taxi back to Trump Marina instead of heading back in the choppy water. When we got back to Trump’s, there were still quite a few boats to shoot.
The first interview was with a spectacular 50’ Nor-Tech owned by Dave Ginfrida, whose name was somewhat challenging to remember. I had difficulty getting the name down. The triple engined 850SCi called No Compromise was a head turner for all. Dave let us tour his boat which had an impeccable interior.
One of the nicest couples that we ran into was “Riverboat Ray” Muir and his wife Christine. Ray owns two identical Sonic 45 SS that he keeps up in New Jersey. He is a remarkable man. After spending only an hour or so with Ray we had kindled a friendship in which he basically demanded that we stay with him on our next visit. I hope to take him up on it.
That night Earl, Blair and I ate at a real old-school Italian restaurant. I half-expected Al Pacino and Marlon Brando to step out from the back of the kitchen at any moment.
June 22: We got up late and had hoped to catch the train again to go over to NYC. But because everybody was moving too slowly, we went back to the airport a couple hours early and prepared to return home to Vegas. When we landed in Vegas, I was completely exhausted. It sometimes feels like I am running for office on these trips, but it's worth it.
A special thanks to Tim Sharkey for getting me some spectacular photos, as I had originally misplaced our files.