Journal Entry From Sao Paulo, Brazil.
I'm tired...could be the 11hour flight down. But truth be told, I flew Korean Airlines and it was a really nice experience. Watched a couple of movies...slept like a baby, and even had a couple of palatable meals in between. I'm just kind of worn down right now. It has been a taxing couple of Months. Not that I am complaining, but traveling wears on you after a while. The last blog entry is from my trip to compete in Europe and on to Morocco. Since then life has been busy.
Shortly after coming home from Morocco, I got on a plane bound for Jamaica. I was not sure exactly why I was going. All I knew was that legendary music icon Chris Blackwell wanted me to come to Jamaica and spend a few days at his most famous Goldeneye Resort in Oracabessa, Jamaica. I had been told that he was a huge fan of personal watercraft and was expanding the flagship property of his Island Outpost chain, and was going to tailor it to the use of PWCs. Needless to say I was a bit nervous about going to meet the guy who introduced the world to Bob Marley, U2, and so many other hugely successful music acts. Then after doing a little research on him, I learned that he also started Palm Pictures Studios and was very instrumental in the redevelopment of South Beach in the early 90's. With question, this guy is one of the most influential people of the last 50 years, and for some reason he wanted to see me.
After meeting Chris for the first time, all my nervousness was gone. He has an incredible gift for making any and everyone feel comfortable regardless of “who” you are. Chris is also has incredible vision, and a great ability to relate that vision to others. This has to be part of the reason he was so incredibly successful, it's impossible not to like him.
Goldeneye is an incredible and very exclusive luxury resort on the East end of Jamaica's North coast. It is also the former home of James Bond Author, Ian Flemming. The plan is to expand the resort in to the premier luxury Residence/Resort in the Caribbean, and the primary recreational activity at the resort will be exploration on PWCs. Please keep an eye out in various Watercraft magazines for stories on the resort and the adventures tours that will be available to guests and residents.
I am very fortunate to be able to help Chris implement his vision and expose his incredible resort to the watercraft community.
After coming home from Jamaica, I met up with Fullgaz boss and photographer Ludo to shoot a little around So Cal. The first day we went out and shot the Super Flip for a how-to article that will appear in PWI early next year. Then we hit the road for a little river/lake riding up near Yosemite. That story will appear later this year in PWI as well. And I will of course post them here on my blog once the stories run in the magazine.
A couple of weeks later, it was time for the Blowsion Beach Party in Oregon. I'm sure most of you reading this already know that Zach Waddle and his finance Libby were killed by a drunk driver early Saturday morning as they walked back to their campsite. This was an incredible tragedy that left their 11 month old son, Mason without his parents. To contribute to Mason's trust account, please visit http://www.masonsfuture.org/
For more about Zach, please my entry specific to that, will be up in a few days.
The guys at Blowsion built me an incredible ski that is very capable of doing a double flip on. Its a back flip modified Lightweight.de hull with a Blowsion trim and a nice and strong 760 motor. The plan was to try a couple at the beach party in Oregon, but the conditions were not right, and for sure the time was not right for it.
Mike Serlin was able to get his new Blowsion ski together and in the water for the weekend. His motor was not ready, so he ran a loner that did not work all that well...but the ski looks amazing. And turf is top notch thanks to EJ.
My new little man Sidney made the trip up to Oregon with Pamela and EJ. He is a super smart Australian Shepard puppy that was the pick of the last litter from Pamela and EJ's pair. He and his sister hung around the shop till it was time to head to the beach, and they were always where ever we were. Two great little dogs, super smart and a huge hit with everyone at the beach. This little guy will be making all the west coast events from now on! Man I miss that little guy right now.
From Oregon, Ludo and I flew on to Jamaica for media week at Goldeneye. Liz met us down there and we had an incredible week in the lap of luxury shooting all kinds of amazing stuff with new Yamaha SHOs. Goldeneye truly is my favorite place on earth. Life is just so different down there, and everyone treats us like family. We got some unreal pictures and I really hope everyone likes the stories that come out of there. I also hope we get some good watercraft enthusiasts to buy down there. For more info about the place email me through my contacts page. I will send you a pass for a free weekend at the resort if you are interested in buying. Also check out Goldeneyeresort.com and Goldeneyedevelopment.com.
After leaving Jamaica, I flew to Washington DC for the Yamaha dealer meeting and new model launch. Yamaha has a cool new runabout coming out for 09. They call is the FZR, and is a true sport boat. It has the motor of the SHO, but is a two seater and the hull is more performance oriented. It should be a good seller...if I was in the market for a sport boat, I would buy it. The new FXHO gets the SHO's 1.8 liter motor, only in a non supercharged configuration. This boat will pull just as hard as the SHO down low, and the SHO only finally pulls away in the very top of the power band.
From DC, I flew back to Portland and picked up my truck and a few skis. Then headed straight through to the Wounded Warriors ride that the San Diego PWC Club was putting on. Of course I had to stop along the way to pick up Sidney...but that was the only stop.
The Wounded Warrior Ride went well, about 50 veterans and various other people with some form of paralysis. They got a boat ride, and I did what I could on the wake behind the boat. That was basically limited to rolls and stabs, but I think they enjoyed it. Yamaha was kind enough to donate poster for the event.
And of course the pup was a huge hit there as well.
A few days later...here I am in Sao Paulo...just kind of wondering how I got here...haha...