Chances are you didn’t know Mercury Racing has another location just a few minutes from its headquarters in Fond du Lac, Wis. And minus the bubble windows built into the structure, which is located behind a security gate on Water Street on the shores 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.
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.
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 March 8 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.
Fountain chief operating officer Jeff Harris braved Fond du Lac, Wis., in January to be part of the Water Street Confidential video series celebrating Mercury Racing’s 50th anniversary.
Spoiler alert: Miller and Roberts barely even 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 in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., and legendary marine writer Charles Pluddeman and Mercury Racing setup wizard Mike Griffiths, both hardcore snowmobile fans.
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 APX series of outboard engines for tunnel-boat racing.
(From left) On the night before the first shoot, Rick Pierce of Bass Cat Boats met Scrapyard Media’s Katie DiMaggio, video-paring cohort Randy Scism of MTI and Scrapyard Media’s Brad DiMaggio for the first time.
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 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.
Editor’s note: All episodes will air on Mercury Racing’s YouTube Channel. Extended versions of each segment will air one week later on the Speed On The Water YouTube channel. This story originally appeared as a Mercury Racing Blog post earlier this morning.
Sneak Peek: The Test Drivers
Sneak Peek: The Writer And The Wrench
Sneak Peek: The Jeff And The Geoff Of It
Sneak Peek: The Sorcerer And The Apprentice
Sneak Peek: Talking Shop With Barrett And Latham
Sneak Peek: The Young Lions Of Offshore Racing
Sneak Peek: The Guitar Heroes Of High-Performance
MTI Celebrating Silver Anniversary All Year