An opening ceremony of sorts for the annual offshore world championships in Key West, Fla., Sunday’s late afternoon parade of raceboats down Duval Street attracted thousands of locals as well as fans in town early for this week’s Race World Offshore-produced, American Power Boat Association-sanctioned event. And with 75 boats registered—a record for the Key West-based race producer—the wall-to-wall crowd of spectators had plenty to cheer about.
With Sunday’s raceboat parade down Duval Street, the Race World Offshore Key West World Championships are officially open. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“I can’t believe how many people come out to Duval Street for the parade,” said Larry Bleil, the president and founder of Race World Offshore. “It usually takes about an hour, but with this many boats it took a little longer.”
Though the odd team may time its entry to Key West just in time for what has become known in the city as the “World’s Slowest Boat Parade,” most teams were already in town and still setting up when the sun rose Sunday morning. Among them was M CON, which will defend its 2023 Super Cat world title during three races this week in the M CON/Monster Energy Skater Powerboats catamaran, and duke it out in the new-for-2023 Monster Energy/M CON Skater this week in Class 1 with five other teams.
Enjoy more images from yesterday’s raceboat parade in Key West.
“It’s pretty incredible how many people come out for the parade,” said Tyler Miller, the owner and throttle man for both M CON teams. “The first couple of years we came here, there were hundreds. Now there are thousands. It’s really, really cool to see everyone come out.
“It’s so great for offshore racing to have 75 boats here,” he added, then chuckled. “Larry better watch out. Next year, there could be 100.”
Added Bleil, “Given this turnout, I can’t even imagine what the Friday raceboat display on Duval Street will be like.”
Race World Offshore head Larry Bleil and his family enjoyed the parade from a firsthand perspective.
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