Being that the New Year is approaching and that Matt Trulio and I just covered our top stories of 2017 earlier this week, I figured now would be as good a time as any to reflect on the past 365 days and highlight a few of the things I’m thankful for following a year of ups and downs.

thankful dcbm44sotw

Read all about DCB's latest M44 Widebody in the new Speed On The Water digital magazine. Photo by Tom Leigh/Tommy Gun Images

First off, I’m thankful for the time spent with a few of the notable people our industry has lost as of late. Given the death of New York performance boater Joe Sgro—the offshore racer and Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats principal and longtime customer I’ve interviewed and reported on for many years—following an accident in the Florida Keys last month, there’s no doubt it’s been a tough year.

Two people I considered friends are no longer with us, Xtreme Powerboats founder Larry Goldman and CK Motorsports founder Keith Holmes. Nor are offshore racers Kyler Talbot and David Raabe. And I’ll never forget Nick Barron, especially the early mornings spent with the Hallett Boats founder on the launch ramp before a Powerboat magazine test at the Bluewater Resort & Casino in Parker, Ariz. Rest in peace to all.

Read more: Thankful for Another Great Year