Produced by Speed On The Water and Scrapyard Media, the Mercury Racing Water Street Confidential video series celebrates the past, present and future of high-performance boating in an engaging subject-to-subject interview format.
By Matt Trulio
Speedonthewater.com founder and co-publisher
Chances are excellent that you didn’t know Mercury Racing has another location just a few minutes from its headquarters in Fond du Lac, Wis. And without the bubble windows built into the structure, which is located behind a security gate on Water Street on the shoreline of the Fond du Lac River, no one would ever guess it has anything to do with the high-performance marine propulsion products company, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
But thanks to a new eight-episode video series called Water Street Confidential, the first episode of which will air next Wednesday, the humble location is about to step into the limelight. For one snowy week in mid-January—with one snowmobile after the next rocketing up and down the frozen Fond du Lac River in the background—the Scrapyard Media and Speed On The Water crew transformed the Water Street facility into a video studio for all eight segments.
Inspired by Country Music Television’s “Crossroads” video series in which country artists perform with musicians from other genres—and vice-versa—Water Street Confidential pairs marine industry notables for wide-ranging conversations. Airing in March on the Mercury Racing YouTube channel, the first episode, for example, finds Mercury Racing customer experience director Steve Miller and Peter Roberts, the co-owner of Double R Performance, a Nor-Tech dealer in the Toronto area, talking country and rock music, and jamming on electric guitars.
Spoiler alert: Miller and Roberts barely mention the high-performance marine world.
Other Water Street Confidential pairings include legacy offshore racers Brit Lilly and Nick Imprescia, Fountain Powerboats chief operating officer Jeff Harris and Nor-Tech dealer manager Geoff Tomlinson (both worked for Reggie Fountain, Jr.), young lions Amanda Latham of Man O’ War Marine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Adrian Barrett of Barret Custom Marine, and legendary marine writer Charles Plueddeman and Mercury Racing setup wizard Mike Griffiths, both hardcore snowmobile aficionados.
Also on tap in the series? Renowned boatbuilders Randy Scism of MTI and Rick Pierce of Bass Cat, farmers-turned-Mercury Racing employees Merwin Kimble and Matt Blechl, and American Power Boat Association president Chris Fairchild and Mercury Racing engineer Mike Makus, both of whom were involved in hands-on durability testing for the APEX series of outboard engines for tunnel-boat racing.
By design, we set up interview pairings with subjects who either had a lot or nothing in common. But the “through-line” for all of the interviews, of course, is Mercury Racing—and as you’d expect there’s plenty of great talk around that subject.
That’s also why we chose to shoot at a Mercury Racing facility in Fond du Lac in the dead of winter. We even hoped it would snow during the week of the shoot, which it did.
Because nothing says Fond du Lac like frigid weather.
Episodes will air on the second Wednesday of every month through October. Each will be shared by Mercury Racing and promoted on speedonthewater.com and its various social media portals.
So who’s up next month following the season-opener with Miller and Roberts? You’ll have to wait to find out. Right now, that’s confidential.
Water Street Confidential.