Jim Zito of Warren, Rhode Island was buried deep in a large crowd on the field at Marine Park in Falmouth when On The Water Publisher Chris Megan began announcing StriperFest prize winners. Off to Megan’s right sat the grand prize, a NorthCoast 210 Center Console fitted with SIMRAD Electronics and powered by a Yamaha Outboard.
Earlier Saturday afternoon, Zito had been checking out the Yamaha Demo Ride boats in Falmouth Harbor and said to himself, “Boy it would be nice to win a center console boat.” Even though he owned a walkaround boat, it hadn’t seen much use, he explained, because lingering effects from a motorcycle accident had made it difficult to navigate from the helm to the bow.
As an adult entrant in the 2021 Striper Cup, Zito had received a Golden Ticket in the mail, which he brought to StriperFest and entered in the boat drawing. Golden Tickets are mailed to all Striper Cup participants and cannot be purchased at StriperFest.
As it started to rain and umbrellas began popping up in the crowd, all attention was on the band shell, where Roxanne Flores of Yamaha spun the golden ticket drum, opened the latch, and pulled a ticket. Flores handed the ticket to Megan, who announced that the winner of the NorthCoast boat was a fisherman who resides in Warren, Rhode Island.
“I heard that and thought, ‘I’m glad it’s someone local’, not even allowing myself to think that I had a shot at it,” Zito said.
Megan’s next words were, “And the winner is… Jim Zito!”
Zito walked to the stage to claim his brand-new NorthCoast boat and to celebrate as the crowd cheered him on. He is recently retired and says the NorthCoast boat, SIMRAD unit, and Yamaha outboard will be a major upgrade.
“I’m going to be using the boat every weekend with my wife, son, and our new 11-month-old granddaughter.”