Powerboat race coming to Clearwater Oct. 2-4


Jul 8, 2007
RO Number
April 21, 2009
Powerboat race coming to Clearwater

CLEARWATER -- Sleek, fast boats will be racing at speeds up to 140 mph off Clearwater Beach this fall when an offshore power boat race comes to town.

The races, which run Oct. 2 to 4, will be free and open to the public. Boats up to 50 feet long will race from Pier 60 south for about 2ВЅ miles and back, organizers announced today.

An organization called Super Boat International is running the race. It's one of several organizations that run these kinds of power boat races. This particular group has been staging boat races for 30 years, said its president, John Carbonell. It is perhaps best-known for races in Key West, Miami, Sarasota and New York City.

The races feature 50-foot boats with F-16 jet canopies. During races they reach speeds of 100 to 140 mph, depending on weather conditions. They'll probably race 200 to 300 yards offshore, "close enough for everyone to see them," Carbonell said. He said he expects 30 to 35 boats to compete in a series of races. He said they'll set up at Coachman Park and launch from the Seminole Boat Ramp.

Because tourism is Clearwater's No. 1 industry, city officials say they're pleased to be hosting an event that could draw a lot of visitors to hotels and restaurants during what is normally a slow time for local tourism.

"We all know what a wonderful destination Clearwater Beach is," said Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard. "To add this in October to Clearwater's menu is a wonderful thing."

Mike Brassfield, Times Staff Writer

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