Make us your home page
Instagram

Clearwater Beach to host Super Boat circuit starting Friday

CLEARWATER

The monsters of the sea will be ripping through the waves on Sunday, baring their teeth and fighting for the No. 1 spot in the circuit as the 8th annual Clearwater Super Boat National Championship and Seafood Festival roars into town.

The three-day extravaganza begins today and includes close encounters with the race teams and their boats, a seafood festival, VIP parties, a boat parade and block party, a fireworks display and more.

Sunday's race will feature 35 to 40 high-performance boats — some equipped with F-16 jet canopies — vying in seven classes to win a spot in November's 36th annual Super Boat World Championship in Key West. The heats are held right off Pier 60 and run to the north end of Clearwater Beach and back.

"It's great family fun and a good way to show off the No. 1 beach in the world," said Frank Chivas, owner of Bay Star Restaurant Group. It was Chivas and former Clearwater Mayor Brian Aungst who brought the muscle boat competitions to the area seven years ago when a slot opened up on the circuit.

The timing of the event couldn't be better for beach businesses and area hotels. September used to mean sluggish sales — but no more.

"If the weather cooperates, we can expect an economic impact of over $20 million," Chivas said. He based his statement on information from Research Data Services of Tampa that showed last year's event generated a similar amount, with an estimated 170,000 people attending race-related events. About half of the economic activity came from out-of-county attendees.

The Bay Star Race Village opens at noon today in Coachman Park with free admission. The super boats will be on display; guests can meet the racers and enjoy food and entertainment. The annual super boat parade begins at 6 p.m. on downtown Cleveland Street and is followed by a street party that runs until 10.

Beginning Saturday at 10 a.m. a seafood festival takes place in Coachman Park. Timed trials will be going on in the gulf providing onlookers with a glimpse of Sunday's races. A pyrotechnics display will illuminate the sky at sunset near Pier 60.

Then, get ready for Sunday's grand finale. Heats begin at noon, 1:30 and 3 p.m. See it all from the beach, Pier 60, the fleet viewing area for boaters, or at a designated VIP viewing party.

VIP passes grant access to not only the distinctive viewing locations, but special concerts, parties and autograph sessions with the racers. Passes also included free Jolley Trolley rides, admission to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, discounts for restaurant and area businesses, and free sailboat rides at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center.

The event concludes as the national champions are crowned at the awards ceremony at Bay Star Race Village at 5:30 p.m. A VIP after-party will take place at Marina Cantina.

>>IF YOU GO

The 8th annual Bright House Clearwater Super Boat National Championship and Seafood Festival

When: The three-day festival runs today through Sunday. The super boat heats take place Sunday at noon, 1:30 and 3 p.m.

Where: Downtown Clearwater's Cleveland Street, Coachman Park and Clearwater Beach

Tickets: Races and non-VIP activities are free. VIP passes for private parties and reserved best views are $100 for adults, $20 for children 16 and under. Pier 60 tickets on race day are $5 and $20.

Parking: This will once again be a challenge on Clearwater Beach. The city wants to remind visitors you can park downtown Clearwater for free and take the Clearwater Ferry across to the beach.

Clearwater Beach to host Super Boat circuit starting Friday 09/28/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 3:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 5 things to do under $5: Type artists, shuffleboard, toy train show, Wildflower Walk

    Events

    1 Letterheads Typefest: The muralists who run Illsol Space, a gallery in Tampa Heights, said their respect for handmade fonts and sign painting techniques moved them to curate this exhibit featuring type-based muralists, hand-style lettering designers, sign painters, letterpress studios and type designers. …

    Colm O’Connor, a Dublin sign writer, is among the 22 artists featured in the Letterheads Typefest exhibit at the Illsol Space gallery.
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 23

    Events

    The Art of the Brick: An elaborate display of more than 100 pieces of Lego artwork including the life sized sculpture of a man ripping open his chest, a 20-foot-long T. rex skeleton, a giant skull and replicas of famous works including Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night and Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona …

    Nathan Sawaya with a sculpture from his The Art of the Brick exhibition coming to Tampa June 23- Sept. 4. It will be open for free Wednesdays through Sundays,  from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 802 E Whiting Street, Tampa. No tickets are required.[Courtesy  of the Art of the Brick]
  3. I give you a fish, you give me back my man

    Blogs

    The B-52s are a band with such a distinct visual look that you could tell it was them with just a glimpse of a picture. But was it always beehives and bright clothes for the hipsters from Athens? You can find the different looks of the B-52s in their video for the irresistible Give Me Back My Man.

  4. Joss Whedon's ex-wife accuses him of cheating, being 'hypocrite preaching feminist ideals'

    Celebrities

    Joss Whedon made his name directing cult television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and big-budget action movies, which often featured women in empowering roles. Many applauded him for being a champion of women, a feminist in an industry accused of misogyny and sexism.

    Joss Whedon at the screening of "Much Ado About Nothing" in 2014. Whedon's ex-wife Kai Cole alleged in an essay published by The Wrap on Sunday that Whedon had multiple affairs during their 16-year marriage. (Associated Press)
  5. For James Blunt, life is still 'Beautiful,' especially on tour with Ed Sheeran

    Music & Concerts

    Here's how much You're Beautiful still weighs on James Blunt: He specifically references his biggest hit twice on his new album, The Afterlove.

    ISCHGL, AUSTRIA - NOVEMBER 29:  James Blunt performs live on stage during the ‘Top Of The Mountain Concert’ on November 29, 2014 in Ischgl, Austria.  (Photo by Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images)