Ronny Turiaf Re-Discovers Boating Through O-Tern Project

This is a guest post by professional basketball player, Ronny Turiaf.


Ronny Turiaf and the Discover Boating team at the Progressive Insurance Chicago In-Water Boat Show

Growing up with paradise-like surroundings, blazing sun and the famous Caribbean trade winds provided me the perfect dream destination recipe. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by water throughout my childhood and early teenage years. Looking back, I now realize there is nothing better than being on the water.

I spent most of my childhood in Martinique, a French overseas island in the Caribbean Sea. Some of my life’s best memories are from a beach named “Cap Chevalier.” To this day, the countless hours spent talking by the water, playing board games on plastic tables and cooking our freshly caught fish remains some of my fondest memories. Also, Martinique’s biggest yearly sporting event, called “Tour des Yoles,” is a true expression of celebrating life and boating. Thousands of people will flock to the various beaches where the boat race will depart from. You should check it out!

Now, I’ve grown up, traveled, smiled, evolved and surely accomplished feats that I would have never imagined possible. I’m currently playing basketball for the Minnesota Timberwolves, I’m the co-founder of a management company called IVC Global Sports and Entertainment and the President of the Heart to Heart Foundation. This summer I started working as an O-tern (or “eau-tern” as I like to call myself) at Olson Agency in Minneapolis and have gone boating in some pretty cool places. Surviving open-heart surgery 10 years ago is what reinforced my desire to experience every opportunity presented to me. That’s why when I was asked to attend the Chicago In-Water Boat Show as part of my internship, I knew it was a perfect fit because of my love for boating and desire to keep learning.

The boat show was a tremendous learning opportunity for me. Not only did I learn how to drive a boat but I also had the experience of talking with experts in the industry about the fascinating boating world. Check out this short video about my experience! I hope you will enjoy the video and be inspired to go boating. I’m very excited about how it came out.

But first, here’s a list of what I learned:

• How to drive a boat from the professionals. Aced it my first time parking. You don’t believe me? Just watch the video!
• Everything I needed to know about boat safety.
• There are a variety of boats available for every type of activity. I even learned that there is an unsinkable boat.
• I heard many inspiring stories of why other people also love boating.

Recently I went back home to Martinique to visit my family, recharge the battery and go boating. My best friend, our common friends and I explored what the West Indies has to offer. I’m pretty sure somewhere between Martinique and Marie-Galante aboard “Aliotis,” my favorite Lagoon 420, I possibly made a decision on what boat I want to buy in the next few years.

So here’s what I need from you! Before I make my final decision, what boat buying tips do you have? Leave your feedback below or tweet me at @Ronny_Turiaf. Can’t wait for your feedback and, who knows, maybe you’ll be aboard the boat with me. Already envisioning us in Australia, Thailand, Galapagos Island, The Maldives, or somewhere in Antarctica.

Hope you enjoyed my blog! May the wind be with you.