Fans Ready For Super Boat Suncoast Festival In Sarasota
Sarasota Fla (June 19, 2012) – The 28th Annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival will be held June 29th through July 1st with the world’s fastest race boats competing off Lido Beach near Sarasota, Florida. This is the second stop on the Super Boat International racing circuit where teams from the United States and several foreign countries compete in the extreme sport of powerboat racing. The Festival, which is traditionally held on July 4th weekend, is one of the more popular stops on the circuit. The excitement reaches tens of thousands of fans as they line the beaches for offshore racing’s best. This year, those fans who can not get to Lido Beach, will be able to watch the event, interviews and special segments live-streamed on superboat.com.
John Carbonell, President of Super Boat International, along with Festival Director, Lucy Nicandri of Suncoast Charities for Children, are working hard to make this one of their best events ever. “Sarasota is a great place and the teams really enjoy racing there. We have made minor changes to the course over the years and have worked to bring it in closer to fans on the beach and near the hotels on the water. When the fans are up-close, everyone can feel they are part of the action,” comments Carbonell. “The community strongly supports the boat racing event and you get a real sense of how many race boat fans are here. What makes this a great race is the support we get from Sarasota… the teams who attend the race… and the fact that the water conditions always are changing… All this makes for exciting powerboat racing.”
This year fans will continue to hear team names like Twisted Metal, Team Velocity, Absolutely Not and, who could forget, Miss Geico Racing. The Sarasota racecourse is triangle shaped with teams heading to turn one for the longest leg of the course with a total distance just less than 6 miles. Race teams must navigate the sometimes-rough waters in the Gulf of Mexico, making it an exciting event for teams, fans and the hundreds of spectator boats lining the course.
SBI has a long-time relationship with Suncoast Charities for Children, a charity serving local children with special needs. Last year was a very successful year in terms of dollars raised for the charity and for the competition on the racecourse. You can be assured almost everyone who arrives 4th of July weekend, and passes through the Sarasota Bradenton Airport, knows of the boat races and is planning on attending the racing festival. This race has seen tremendous growth through the years, as has all the Super Boat events. Key West, Miami and New York have enjoyed more than 21 consecutive years of successful boat racing events.
The 2012 season for Super Boat International fans will bring some of the most exciting offshore racing the sport has seen, along with very competitive head to head action. One goal of John Carbonell is to continue to consolidate classes where it makes sense and deliver a sport that is safer and exciting to the fans. Over the years, Carbonell has shortened racecourses to make it safer for the racers and more exciting for the fans. This year the first race of the season at Cocoa Beach, FL was a huge success in terms of attendance and excitement and SBI expects Sarasota to be the same.
Fans can come to Centennial Park Friday and Saturday (June 29-30) to see their favorite boats and stand along side the teams’ driver and throttleman. All the racers are very appreciative of their fans as they sign autographs and give away mementos of the race weekend. Van Wezel and Centennial Park provide the perfect backdrop for the holiday event. Prior to watching the races off Lido Beach on Sunday, the pits are the best place to get up-close to the boats. Friday night, SBI and Suncoast put on a fantastic boat parade followed by a huge block party downtown on Main Street. With the famous Ringling Museum already in town, it’s hard to say the circus is coming, but everyone knows when the Super Boat races are coming, they also bring excitement and fun to Sarasota.
Super Boat Powerboats By The Bay
The race village dry pits (race boat and support equipment staging area) are located off US 41, near 10th street at Centennial Park. Teams start to arrive Friday June 29th with the pits open to the public from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm and the same on Saturday. Activities begin Wednesday June 27 with “Fleming’s Fan Fest” happy hour from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Fleming’s Steakhouse. Thursday June 28th at 7:00 pm, the Hyatt Regency is hosting a Party and Fashion Show in their downstairs ballroom. Friday at 7:00 pm is the start of the Festival of Boats Parade beginning at Highway 301 and Main to Gulfstream Avenue. The boats will circle back after the parade and be staged on Main Street in front of restaurants for a block party until midnight. Saturday, fans in the dry pits will be able to watch their favorite boats be craned in and out of the water as the teams test from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm. They will be taking test runs, checking their prop selection and making changes for Sunday’s race. Also on Saturday, the Miss Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix bikini contest starts at 3:00 pm in race village. Finally, teams will race off Lido Beach on Sunday with the first race starting at 11:00 am and the second race beginning at 1:00 pm.
This year the event will be streamed on new.livestream.com/sbi so you won’t miss any of the action. On the Livestream page, watch and listen to interviews, make comments and watch all the action as it happens. Fans can stay connected with us at superboat.com and like us on Facebook for all this year’s news. The Super Boat schedule is posted through 2013 with races in Cocoa Beach, Sarasota and Miami, FL; Michigan City IN; New York, NY; Clearwater and Key West, FL.