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Special Delivery

by Mike Kucera

From left to right are Ken and Carolyn Schmalenberger, Steve Pettengill and Warren Luhrs.
On Tuesday, September 22, Norton’s Yacht Sales in Deltaville received a new 50-foot sailboat from Hunter Marine, just in time for the Annapolis Boat Show. As the nation’s #1 Hunter service provider, deliveries are a usual occurrence at Norton’s. What made this delivery special were the sailors who brought her up from the Luhrs Marine Group Corporate Office in St. Augustine, Florida.

Warren Luhrs, CEO of Hunter Marine and Luhrs Sportfish, was at the helm. He was aided by world-class sailor and solo circumnavigator Steve Pettengill, who is also the director of offshore testing for Hunter Marine.

“They are rock stars of the sailing world,” said Norton’s president, Carolyn Schmalenberger.

In 1984, Warren Luhrs won the Observer Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race (OSTAR) from Plymouth, England, to Newport, Rhode Island. In 1989, he broke a 132-year record by sailing from New York to San Francisco in just 80 days and 18 hours. In 1995, Steve Pettengill took second place in the solo circumnavigation B.O.C. Challenge Race. Their lists of achievements go on.

So what motivated these two sailing icons to hand-deliver the new Hunter 50CC to Norton’s? 

“Pleasure,” said Luhrs. The sail from St. Augustine, Florida to Broad Creek in Deltaville, Virginia took them just under four days and gave Pettengill a chance to test new changes to the ship’s interior.

“It was the most opportune time to test the boat and get her here in time for the show,” he explained. It was Pettengill’s second trip to Deltaville and a first for Warren Luhrs.

When asked if he was surprised that a marina in small-town Deltaville was his company’s #1 dealer, he responded very simply that Norton’s has “great service and integrity.”

Of Deltaville, Warren says it’s “charming.”

posted 09.23.2009

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