The 2012 Bright House Clearwater Super Boat National Championship and Seafood Festival is turning up the heat on Clearwater Beach Sept. 28-30.
CLEARWATER – The 2012 Bright House Clearwater Super Boat National Championship and Seafood Festival returns to Clearwater Beach Sept. 28 for three days jam-packed with family friendly VIP events, a spectacular seafood festival and fireworks show and some of the fastest and largest offshore powerboats in the world.
The “fastest show on water” will involve super boats equipped with F-16 canopies reaching speeds up to 180 mph just off the shore of Clearwater Beach Sunday, Sept. 30 as racers vie for the title of national champion in 10 classes.
An estimated 25,000 race fans turned out a year ago – many on an estimated 2,500 boats in the Gulf of Mexico next to the 2.5-mile racecourse.
Race teams consist of a two-person team – a driver who controls the boat’s steering and a throttleman responsible for operating up to four engines capable of producing more than 6,000 horsepower.
Extreme speeds and rough water make it impossible for a single person to steer and operate the throttles. The best race teams hone the partnership between driver and throttleman down to a science, and incorporate the most advanced technology into their machines to generate optimum speed.
Baystar Race Village opens Friday, Sept. 28 at noon. Spectators have the opportunity to see the boats on display, meet the drivers and participate in many family activities. Admission is free.
Blast Friday will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with a boat parade through the streets of downtown Clearwater, followed by a concert by the Atlanta Rhythm Section.
A private VIP party is scheduled at 5:30 in Baystar Race Village at Clearwater Harbor Marina Promenade. Tickets are available for purchase.
Saturday enjoy the Seafood Festival from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Coachmen Park. Activities include a photo-op and Meet and Greet with drivers and boats on Cleveland Street. Hang out for Saturday night and the Fireworks Show at Pier 60 and a Star Spectacular at Coachmen Park. Visit clearwaterstarspectacular.com.
Races on Sunday start at noon and 2 p.m. Tickets to view the event off Pier 60 will be available the day of the races for $5 and $20. Other ticket packages will be available at the Hilton and Hyatt Regency hotels.
Frank Chivas of the Bay Star Restaurant Group and Former Clearwater Mayor Brian Aungst of Bright House Networks brought the Super Boat races to Clearwater.
All proceeds from the event will be donated to three local charities – the Clearwater Community Sailing Center, Sailability, and the Make a Difference Fishing Tournament.
Beach parking at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach parking garage is available throughout the festival weekend. Race fans can self-park at an hourly rate of $2.75 per hour or a maximum daily rate of $16. Valet parking will also available for $16 per day.
Additional off-beach parking is available at the Cleveland Street parking locations. Parking at the beach and Pier 60 will be limited due to the crowds, so officials recommend riding the Jolley Trolley, which will be making round trips both Saturday and Sunday from all locations. Race fans can find Jolley Trolley markers throughout Clearwater and Clearwater Beach.
To facilitate downtown parking, Jolley Trolley’s Super Boat Shuttle will take the following path every 20 minutes:
• Pier 60 to Island Estates.
• Island Estates to left on Fort Harrison (courthouse parking).
• Fort Harrison to right on Park St. (MSB parking, Atrium parking)
• Park St. to left on Garden Ave. (Garden Ave parking).
• Garden to left on Drew Street.
• Drew Street to left on Osceola (Coachman Park)
• Osceola to right on Court Street and causeway (City Hall parking).