One change this year includes an expanded "Boats On Main" Block Party in Downtown Sarasota on Friday, July 1.
This event will begin at 6 pm featuring a stationary display of race teams on Main Street. This will provide the general public an opportunity to meet the team pilots before the weekend races, receive team giveaways, and allow time for photo opportunities.
On Saturday, July 2, P1 AquaX racers (personal watercraft), P1 SuperStock boats (28’ open canopy style boats), and Classic/Vintage boats will be racing.
On Sunday, July 3, over 25 powerboats will compete ranging in speeds from 90 mph to over 150 mph for a $60,000 prize purse. The best viewing will be from Lido Beach. Tickets are still available to the VIP Race Viewing area, located at the Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach, and can be purchased on the Festival website sarasotapowerboatgrandprix.org. This year's Grand Prix Race will be featured in a one hour special on Fox Sports Sun on July 25 at 9pm, July 26 at 2pm, and on July 31 at 6pm.
"We are excited that many of the larger powerboats who could not race Sarasota last year due to a schedule conflict, will be will be back participating", said Festival Director Lucy Nicandri. Suncoast Charities for Children produces the Festival (including the July 4th Bayfront Fireworks), and benefits from the net proceeds raised. Presenting sponsors for this year include Sarasota County and Visit Sarasota County. Major Sponsors include Sarasota Ford, Budweiser, Ocean Properties, City of Sarasota, and Hyatt Regency Sarasota. For a full Festival schedule, and for more information, visit sarasotapowerboatgrandprix.org and click on the event tab at the top of the page.