Great American Insurance Group – a Proud Sponsor of the 2022 Custom Shootout
By: Rick Salway
Rick Salway in our Luxury Yacht unit attended the Custom Shootout in mid May in support of our sponsorship of the Custom Shootout sportfishing tournament.
This all-charity event is limited to just 60 custom inboard boat teams - 32' or larger - chosen by invitation only to represent the custom boat manufacturers. The billfish targeted are all released. The Custom Shootout is recognized as one of the most prestigious tournaments, with boats and anglers competing against the best of the best.
Begun in 2001, the Custom Shootout has distributed greater than $1m to deserving charities such as 9/11 relief, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, IGFA, Joe DiMaggio's Children's Hospital and many other organizations in need. Beyond the tournament, owners, crew and sponsors seeking to leave a positive effect in the local communities, often arrived over the years with boats filled with books for the local schools & libraries as well as medical supplies.
The event has called Abaco Beach Resort, in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas, home since 2012. Over this time, the hosts, including Kevie Thomas, and staff at the Abaco Beach Resort and Marina have become like family to the tournament director Skip Smith, the committee, owners & anglers, captains & crew and sponsors. Recognizing the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian, the tournament committee has dedicated over $200,000 for construction materials, school supplies, computers and Thanksgiving meals for the local residents. Owners and sponsors have also contributed personally towards relief support for the island.
Rick has been fortunate to have formed relationships with custom boat owners, captains & crew, other event sponsors representing vendors of all types, and boat builders themselves over the years. As an example, not too many stories begin with one of the most exciting events in life was while being stuck in an airport. However according to Rick, that very much is one of his professional and personal highlights as he was able to spend many hours one afternoon waiting for a plane in the company of some of the top boat builders in the world. This presented an opportunity to ask questions and gain a boat load of an education. Custom Sportfishing Yachts are a focus by the GAIG Luxury Team. Many would say we have been leaders in the custom boat market segment both as underwriters and the support of our claims department recognizing the uniqueness of these boats, owners and crew – all a fine art.