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Fun Run Kicks Off Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival

According to Blake Gratton, who—along with his twin brother, Brock, and his friend, offshore racer Ryan Beckley—was one of the co-chairs for Sunday’s Fun Run that kicked off the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival, this year’s fundraising event was outstanding.

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Blake and Brock Gratton ran their Spectre catamaran in the fun run on Sunday. All photos courtesy Blake Gratton/Xplode Marketing

“The event wasn’t your typical powerboat fun run or poker run, which made it a lot of fun,” said Blake, who attended the run for the first time this year after being invited by Lucy Nicandri, the executive director of Suncoast Charities for Children, the nonprofit organization producing this weekend’s 31st annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix. “There were flats boats, cruisers, center consoles, Skaters, Spectres, Phantoms and more. In previous years the event was geared toward boats of all sizes and it was mainly smaller fishing boats and center consoles.”

The slideshow above includes several more images from Sunday’s fun run.

Every participant in the event, which cost $20 to enter and included a free T-shirt and lunch at Tarpon Pointe Grille, received a poker card sheet. Stops included Old Salty Dog, Moores, Seafood Shack, Tarpon Pointe and Marina Jacks, where the awards ceremony was held.

According to Blake, the fun run, which raised more than $6,000 for Suncoast Charities for Children, has a lot of potential.

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“Brock and I had such a great time; hopefully next year we’ll continue to grow the powerboat presence and make the event similar to the Joey Gratton New Years Day Fun Run,” Blake said referring to the event honoring his father, who died while racing in Key West in 2010. “I see this event being a destination for pleasure boaters looking for a fun chill event before the celebrated Fourth of July races.”

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