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Key West In The Balance

For the past five years, the City Attorney’s office of Key West, Fla., hasn’t had to produce a Request For Production—a fancy handle for an invitation to bid on producing an event—for the annual offshore powerboat races in the city at the end of the road. That’s because Super Boat International had a five-year contract with the city, which as most offshore racing fans know expired when the November 2018 race week concluded.


Whatever happens on the offshore racecourse, 2019 is certain to be a season of change. Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

SBI heads and Key West locals John and Deana Carbonell have announced that they will put in a bid for the event. In fact, they already have it listed on their website as an event for the 2019 season. Also based in Key West, Larry Bleil of Race World Offshore also plans to bid for the races. Bleil, who launched RWO a little more than a year ago, was the head of the Conch Republic Powerboat Association, the Key West organization that pushed through SBI’s now-expired five-year deal with the city.

So which organization will come away with the rights produce the event? No guesses here, but what’s intriguing to note is that both outfits have moved forward with their regular-season schedules and are still pursuing other venues. RWO has one solid event for 2019, race in Dunkirk, N.Y., and according to Bleil is planning to run it regardless of what happens with Key West.

Read More: Key West In The Balance

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