The ninth annual Clearwater Super Boat National Championship and Seafood Festival is set to take off Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 in downtown Clearwater and on Clearwater Beach.
CLEARWATER – On your mark, get set, go! The ninth annual Clearwater Super Boat National Championship and Seafood Festival is set to take off Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 in downtown Clearwater and on Clearwater Beach.
The three-day event kicks off Friday in downtown Clearwater from noon to 10 p.m. at the Baystar Race Village in Coachman Park where the public can check out boats and meet with drivers. Food and beer trucks will be on hand and there is no cost to attend.
Head on over to Cleveland Street from 6:30 to 10 p.m. for the annual super boat parade, which will depart Coachman Park, travel east on Drew Street, then south on Garden Avenue and then west on Cleveland Street and return to Coachman Park.
Live musical entertainment will begin at 6:30 with The Stingerz. The Black Honkeys will take the stage at Garden Avenue at 8:30 p.m.
The Baystar Super Boat VIP Party is set for 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Station Square Park and will include race team meet-and-greets and a steel drum cocktail party. Tickets will be available at the event.
The evening’s events will continue at Shepard’s Beach Resort from 10 p.m. to midnight with live music courtesy of the Eye Candy band and The Alter-Eagles Eagles Tribute Band. There will be a cover charge.
Saturday’s festivities kick off at 9 a.m. in Coachman Park with a seafood festival, featuring a variety of seafood dishes, refreshments and specialty vendors.
The Super Boat Downtown Block Party is set for 2 to 6 p.m. and will feature a variety of vendors, live entertainment and craft beer. Tony’s Pizzeria will host a second block party from 6 to 10 p.m. featuring “The Groove Orient” from 6 to 8 p.m. and “She’s that Dude” from 8 to 10 p.m. There is no charge to attend either event.
Timed trials will take place throughout the day, offering a sneak peek to Sunday’s races. The day will end with a fireworks display after sunset at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach.
On race day – Oct. 1 – more than 30 super boat drivers race to win a spot in the 36th annual Super Boat World Championship in Key West Nov. 5-12.
The super boats are equipped with F-16 jet canopies and 6,000-horsepower engines, racing at speeds of up to 180 mph in the Gulf of Mexico.
The races are classified into three heats: Super Boat Stock, Super Boat Vee and Production 3 and 4 in heat one; Super Boat Unlimited and Super Boat Extreme in heat two; and Super Boat in heat three.
The first race will take off at noon, with the following two at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. respectively.
Those wanting to check out the races should find a spot early. Spectators can find a spot along Clearwater Beach. If parking becomes congested, attendees can park in downtown Clearwater and ride the Jolley Trolley or take the ferry across to the beach.
For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Clearwater Beach Chamber at 727-447-7600 or the Clearwater Regional Chamber at 727-461-0011.
Jolley Trolley The “Jolley Trolley Round Trip” will be available from Coachman Park to Pier 60: Friday: 5 p.m. to 11p.m. Saturday: Midnight to 10 p.m. Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The service will be a “loop” with no set timetable but will run continuously both days.
The Jolley Trolley Super Boat Shuttle Every 20 Minutes Pier 60 to Island Estates Park Street to left on Garden Avenue (Garden Avenue parking) Garden to left on Drew Street Drew Street to left on Osceola (Coachman Park) Osceola to right on Court & causeway (City Hall parking) Causeway to Pier 60
The Clearwater Ferry The Clearwater Ferry will run all weekend long from Clearwater Beach to Coachman Park. The Clearwater Ferry departs on the 30-minute mark of every hour from the east end of the Clearwater Municipal Marina (their landing is right next to Starlight Cruise's).
On Sunday, catch the ferry to avoid crazy beach traffic and expensive parking to see the races.
The Clearwater Ferry departs from Coachman Park every hour on the hour and the ride is only $4.
Logan Mosby is editor of the Clearwater Beacon. She can be reached at lmosby@TBNweekly.com or by calling 727-397-5563, ext. 304.