The president and founder of Race World Offshore, Larry Bleil is seeking an extension on the organization’s five-year contract to produce early November powerboat races in Key West, Fla. The contract was awarded to Race World Offshore in March 2019 by the Key West City Commission. Unable to secure Monroe County Tourism Development Council funding, which previously had been allocated to Super Boat International, Bleil and company had to go it financially alone for the 2019 races.
Hampered by circumstances beyond his control in 2019 and 2020, Race World Offshore head Larry Bleil is seeking a three-year extension on his five-year contract to produce races in Key West, Fla. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
In August 2020, Race World Offshore cancelled the November event in light of COVID-19 large-group restrictions.
“The city is going to give us an extension on our contract,” Bleil said. “I don’t know if it will be for one, two or three years—I want three years—but they are committed to giving us an extension.”
In the meantime, Bleil has another Key West-based event in the works. Called Go-Fast Fest, it is scheduled for April 23-26 and will include a boat show, concerts and a fun run in collaboration with the Keys Island Runners Group.
“We’ll probably head out to Woman Key or Boca Grande for the day,” said Daniel Garcia, who founded Keys Island Runners and—like Bleil—lives in Key West year-round. “That way big inboard boats can join too. Then we will head back for the Go-Fast Fest activities.”
“We’re going to have the concerts Friday and Saturday night in the field where we set up our exhibitor village during the Key West championships in 2020 instead of the amphitheater, which will give us space to have boats displayed on the perimeter,” Bleil said. “The fun run will be Saturday.
“I’ve been talking to manufacturers about bringing boats down for the show,” he continued. “I’ll be heading up to the Florida Powerboat Club event in Key Largo this month to meet with some of them. Go-Fast Fest is something we would like to do at all our race sites.”
A Keys Island Runners fun run is part of the plan for the inaugural Go-Fast Fest event produced by Race World Offshore.