We have an exciting week as we keep our eyes on the Supercat class for the 2019 Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, with special attention to the teams running their Sterling Engines. We wish M-Con and WHM luck as they rev their engines and aim for ultimate speed and power. This article, originally published on the Herald-Tribune website, gives a run-down of the 2019 Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival, and the teams participating. Enjoy your Fourth of July, and don’t forget to cheer on our teams!
SARASOTA — The 35th annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival is set for July 7 off Lido Beach.
More than 50 teams from around the world — including Australia, Wales, Norway and Turkey — are expected to converge on Sarasota as part of the 2019 Offshore Powerboat Association Offshore Championship Series.
This year’s main event will be a step up from last year, organizers said.
“We can see this year there’s in excess of 50 teams compared to 30 last year,” said Lucy Nicandri, executive director of Suncoast Charities for Children.
Nicandri said a wider Lido Beach due to the completed nourishment project “and increased length of the course will make the event more spectator friendly.”
Nicandri estimated the weeklong Grand Prix had a $21.9 million economic effect on the region last year.
The event has improved, in part, from the help of the Offshore Powerboat Association and Powerboat P1, which formed an alliance to create the championship series with six different race sites.
Suncoast Charities for Children, which helps special needs children, has been the driving force behind the festival each year since its beginning in 1986.
“With all the fun and excitement surrounding the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival it is sometimes easy to lose sight of this and many times the general public is not aware of this aspect,” Nicandri said in a statement. “Sponsorships and donations are critical to sustain the event.
“Every year we hope to ensure that a significant amount of net proceeds are generated to continue to fulfill our mission of supporting five local nonprofit agencies which provide programs and services every year to over 5,000 local children, teens, and adults with special needs.”