When you reach the famed Seven Mile Bridge, the dividing point between the Middle and Lower Florida Keys outside of the city of Marathon, you know you’re about halfway to Key West, the home of Race World Offshore. And thanks to the American Power Boat Association member-organization, offshore racing will return to Marathon next season with the Seven Mile Offshore Grand Prix scheduled for April 28-30.
The last offshore powerboat race in Marathon, Fla., was in 2016 and produced by Super Boat International. Photo by Yvonne Aleman copyright Speedonthewater.com.
“I have been talking about this for a couple years and I’m really looking forward to having a race there,” said Larry Bleil, the president of Race World Offshore, in a press release this afternoon from the organization. “It’s time we kick the season off a little sooner with an APBA National series event. And the weather here during April is perfect.”
Though Marathon has become a popular destination/stop for Florida Powerboat Club poker runs and brand-specific events such as the annual MTI Florida Keys Owners Rendezvous, the last offshore powerboat race there was in 2016 under the Super Boat International umbrella. It is a significant and historic venue for the sport.
“My first offshore race was in Marathon in 1986,” said John Tomlinson, a multi-time world and national champion in various classes who is now in his second year racing with Taylor Scism in the 450R Factory Stock class.”
According to the release, Race World Offshore will set up a new near-shore, viewing friendly racecourse at the venue. The organization has secured permission for VIP tents and viewing areas on the recently renovated Seven Mile Bridge, which will provide fans with an elevated view of the racing action.
The throttleman for TS Motorsports, offshore racing great John Tomlinson ran the first race of his career 36 years ago in Marathon, Fla. Photo from Thunder On Cocoa Beach 2022 by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Additional details on the course and lodging will be released in the near future, according to the release.
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