By Renee Burrell
CLEARWATER – The first annual Clearwater Super Boat National Championship held last weekend, October 2-4 was an all around success. Sunday’s contest was part of the Super Boat Series, one of powerboat racing’s most established organizations.
Off shore the 50-foot boats, powered by F-16 jet canopies and 4,800-horsepower engines, raced from Pier 60 North 2-1/2 miles and back, doing multiple laps and reaching extreme speeds of 180 mph. An estimated 2300 boats lined up around the course to watch the action.
On shore fans and spectators enjoyed the thrill of the race plus free family friendly events, including the Make a Difference Fishing Tournament for kids and fireworks.
All the fun was made possible by numerous sponsors including Bright House Networks and the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce plus a host of volunteers. Organizers of the exciting event are Super Boat International (SBI) founder and 30-year race veteran, John Carbonell, and former mayor Brian Aungst, Restaurateur Frank Chivas and the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce. Thanks to the organizers, the Clearwater Community Sailing Center, Sailability and Make a Difference Fishing Tournament will share proceeds from the weekend.
The first annual Clearwater Super Boat National Championship by the Numbers.
- 8,500 people visited Race Village over the 3-day event.
- 3,000 boats with an average of 10 people on each boat came out Saturday and Sunday for the race.
- 5,000 people enjoyed the free concert and fireworks Saturday at Pier 60.
- 12,000 people were on the beach Sunday to watch the race.
- 3,000 watched the race from Pier 60.
- 6,000 people estimated to have watched from their condos, homes and restaurants over the entire weekend.
- 60,000 people estimated to have participated!
Plans are underway to welcome the Clearwater Super Boat Offshore National Championship back to Clearwater October 1st-3rd, 2010.
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