Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thousands to Enjoy One Big Powerboat Party at 25th Annual Sarasota Suncoast Grand Prix

Super Boat International (SBI) returns to Sarasota, FL this weekend for the 25th Anniversary of the Panasonic Suncoast Offshore Super Boat Grand Prix Festival. The Festival runs from July 2nd through the 5th., and includes a parade on Thursday, a kilo run on Friday, and two races on Sunday.

One of the regular features of the Sarasota race will be the thousands of spectator boats that are expected to line the local beaches and inlets in an effort to get close and watch the powerboats speed by. Super Boat International president, John Carbonell said spectators should expect to see some very exciting and competitive races.

“The amount of spectator boats around turn one is tremendous,” Carbonell said. “We’ve added a third buoy to help the teams navigate the course, and the buoys give them a clear line to turn three.” Race fans can also expect to see plenty of action on turn four, located near New Pass inlet, where the water from the inlet meets the ocean current, creating some choppy conditions.

The Panasonic Super Boat Suncoast Festival also features a kilo run on Friday, where each team competes in what would best be described as a full-speed, drag race on water. With a mile to bring their boats up to maximum speed before crossing the start line, the boats complete two, 1-kilometer trips in opposite directions and average their top speeds from each trip.

PHOTO CREDITS: Super boat International &

The Festival has raised almost $14 million for charity since its inception. Much of the event's popularity is due to the many activities available -- from a block party on Thursday to a "kick off the weekend" Friday event -- better known as the “World’s Largest Offshore Party.” Planned 4th of July activities include a patriotic motorcycle ride and a fireworks show Saturday night along the Sarasota Bay near Island Park. For a complete schedule of the weekend’s activities, please visit Super Boat International’s events page HERE.

For anyone unable to attend the event, you'll be happy to note that the Suncoast Grand Prix and other upcoming races will appear on the Saturday afternoon “CBS Sports Spectacular” line-up this fall.

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