P1 Superstock boats like these will compete off St. Pete Beach June 17-18. The racecourse will stretch from 1,000 feet offshore of the Post Card Inn to 1 1/2 miles offshore.Team Barbados was the 2016 U.S. points champion in the P1 Superstocks competition.
ST. PETE BEACH – Issues surrounding a proposed powerboat race off St. Pete Beach June 17-18 have been resolved and the event is now set to go.
Organizers of the race from Powerboat P1 USA told city commissioners May 9 that they have adjusted the 2-mile course in a manner that will not infringe on beach vendors. The event hit a stumbling block a month ago when it was determined a safety zone mandated by the U.S. Coast Guard would extend onto the beach and thus shut down water sports vendors at the site.
“When we were alerted to this issue, (race director) Gene (Stephens) and I went out to the beach to observe different activities going on and vendors,” said Azam Rangoonwala, managing director of Powerboat P1 USA. “What we did was go back to the drawing board and we devised a course which would not be in front of any of the vendors.”
“What I did was turn the course 90 degrees, so it’s perpendicular to the beach now instead of parallel,” said Stephens. “So now the safety zone runs from just north of the Post Card Inn south to midway of the TradeWinds.”
The new course will not impede vendors on the beach but it will cut down spectator viewing on the beach to a smaller area from the Post Card Inn south.
The new oval course will be about 1,000 feet off the beach and will extend 1 1/2 miles offshore. The safety zone will extend about 1,000 feet north and south of the racecourse. Boaters will be allowed to anchor outside the safety zone to watch races from that vantage point.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Coast Guard and Powerboat P1 USA marine units will enforce the safety zone.
The St. Petersburg Yacht Club will act as a wet pits area and the Tierra Verde Marina will be the dry pit area where boats will be inspected and hoisted by crane into the water.
The event will feature P1 Superstock boats and the AquaX jetski series both days.
The P1 boats are all 28-foot, two-step V-hulls powered by Mercury 300XS V-6 outboards.
The jetski races, which will launch from the beach, will feature competition in 200-, 250- and 300-hp classes.
The St. Pete Beach races will be the fourth stop on the Powerboat P1 USA summer schedule. The season opened April 22-23 in Daytona Beach and continues May 20 in St. Cloud before moving on to Jacksonville June 4. Following the St. Pete Beach race, the circuit continues July 1-2 in Sarasota and Aug. 19-20 in Islamorada.
In other action, commissioners:
• Approved a $25,000 contract with Creative Pyrotechnics for Fourth of July fireworks.
• Approved a $39,854 agreement with Alto Construction Co. for asphalt street repairs.
• Approved three change orders for the Pass-A-Grille Way reconstruction project totaling $241,621.
• Appointed Keith Beattie, Michael Terry and Bruno Falkenstein to two-year terms on the Firefighters Pension Board.
• City Attorney Andrew Dickman said legal action has begun to ultimately foreclose on a home at 627 78th Ave. The home, which is considered a neighborhood nuisance, has had more than $200,000 in liens placed on it for code violations over the past 10 years.