Though he was hoping for more and vows to pursue it at a later date, Race World Offshore head Larry Bleil received a one-year extension on his five-year contract to produce early November powerboat races in Key West, Fla.—without having to plead his case. The official extension from the Key West City Commission was presented on a consent agenda, meaning the commissioners agreed to the extension in advance of last night’s commission meeting.
With the addition of another year, Race World Offshore now has four more years on its five-year contract to produce powerboat races in Key West. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
The annual Fantasy Fest and Goombay Festival events also received one-year extensions. Like the offshore powerboat races, both were cancelled in 2020 in response to COVID-19 pandemic concerns.
“I’m definitely happy to have another year,” said Bleil, who will produce his second-year Key West event, now the American Power Boat Association/Union International Motonautique World Championships November 7-14. “I’ll continue to pursue more at another time, but this is great for now.”
Less certain at this juncture, Bleil explained, is his inaugural Go-Fast Fest event scheduled for April 23-26. At issue for the boat show, fun run organized by the Keys Island Runners Group and concert is the venue. Bleil had hoped to secure a portion of the Truman Waterfront area’s grassy open space for the concert and boat show, but that would require a noise variance from residents in the adjacent Truman Annex. No such variance would be required if Bleil held the concert at the Rams Head Key West Amphitheatre, but that venue could not accommodate powerboat displays. Bleil said the Marker 24 area of Key West is a possibility and that he is considering it as an alternative site.
To gauge exhibitor interest and commitment for the Go-Fast Fest boat show, Bleil is heading to the Florida Powerboat Club Miami Boat Poker Run and Exhibit in Key Largo, which opens today.
“I am going to meet with the manufacturers to make sure I have enough traction for the event,” he said. “Then I’ll make my decision.”
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