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Bike-and-boat tour will return in May

After an inaugural event in 2013 that saw 22 members of the marine industry combine their love of boating with a cross-country motorcycle trip, organizers of the Boaterz n’ Bikerz Hull of a Tour2 announced The Freedom Ride.

The Freedom Ride is sponsored by the Freedom Boat Club, marine media sponsor Soundings Trade Only and platinum support sponsor Hurricane.

“Our 2013 ride from Destin, Fla., to San Diego, Calif., was fantastic — we had such an amazing ride and met so many folks who shared our love for boating and motorcycling,” event producer and publicist Wanda Kenton Smith, chief marketing officer of Freedom Boat Club and owner of Kenton Smith Marketing, said in a statement. “Those who rode the first time around haven’t stopped talking about a second trip since the day we splashed down in San Diego, so I’m thrilled we’re gearing up for another memorable run.”

The Freedom Ride will feature a nine-day guided motorcycle and boating trek from Sarasota, Fla., to Washington, D.C. The tour sports great roads and scenic byways routed by road captain and Regal Marine regional sales manager Jim Krueger, featuring boating activities at select Freedom Boat Club locations and visits to historic venues.

The tour will launch on May 15 from the Freedom Boat Club’s Marina Jack, Sarasota, Fla., location, and run for a total of nine days, concluding with the Rolling Thunder rally.

Key stops include St. Augustine, Fla.; Charleston, S.C.; Cape Hatteras, N.C.; Williamsburg, Va.; Gettysburg and York, Pa.; and Annapolis Md.

The grand finale will be in Washington, D.C., with tours of Mount Vernon and other landmarks, concluding with an escorted ride in the 2015 Rolling Thunder rally, which travels from the Pentagon to the National Mall and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Rolling Thunder is one of the largest annual motorcycle rallies in the world, drawing hundreds of thousands of bikers; it honors prisoners of war and those missing in action.

“We’re very pleased to serve as the title sponsor of the tour and to help promote the fun of the boating lifestyle,” Freedom Boat Club president and CEO John Giglio said. “We have many active clubs along the eastern seaboard, and those tapped to participate are all very proud and enthusiastic to be part of the adventure and to support our boating industry colleagues.”

The boat club has 84 locations in 19 states coast-to-coast, 10,000 active members and a fleet of 800 boats.