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Revamped Suncoast Summer Fest Fun Run Filling Up

Limited to 50 boats, the Suncoast Summer Fest Fun Run—set for July 2-3—opened registration a month ago and is filling quickly, according to the organizers. Proceeds from the the second-year happening in Sarasota, Fla. will go to Suncoast Charities For Children.

Originally dubbed the Sarasota Blast On The Bay and launched last year in late June to offset funding losses created by the cancellation of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival, the first run attracted 120 boats and 400 participants—and raised $50,000 for the charity.

Participants in the second-year Suncoast Summer Fest Fun Run will enjoy the inviting waters off Sarasota, Fla. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

While the organizers of the 2020 run were delighted with the turnout, the size of the fleet made finding adequate dockage and meal venues a challenge. This year, key organizers Simon Williams of primary event backer Shore Thing Storage in Sarasota and Lucy Nicandri, the executive director of Suncoast Charities For Children, opted for a more exclusive, higher-end format. More than half of the 50 slots—priced at $350 for the VIP captain’s package and $175 for the VIP passengers package—already have been taken.

Click here to register for the event.

Both packages include admission to the Friday night VIP welcome on the rooftop of the Westin Sarasota, a poker hand, the Saturday night awards dinner celebration hosted at the nearby Embassy Suites and an event T-shirt.

Williams and Nicandri said they are hoping to match last year’s fundraising total.

“Last year was our first time and it worked out really well, but we didn’t have much time to plan,” said Williams. “Most places around here—make that all of them—can’t handle a fleet or group that size. So we decided to make it a more upscale event that we can produce annually.

“I do the Florida Powerboat Club’s Destin poker run every year, and I spend five days there,” he continued. “We are trying to do something similar. We have a fun run on Friday, probably to Spanish Point, before the Saturday run. That run will be over by 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., and dinner doesn’t’ start until 7 p.m. so people will have time to get cleaned up. On Sunday, there are any number of places people can go boating and—of course—there is the Sunday night fireworks display at Marina Jacks.”

The Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, the third stop in the American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series, is scheduled for June 25-27.

Said Nicandri, “With the rebranding of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival into Suncoast Summer Fest, we wanted to include back-to-back weekends offering various events and activities out on the water to raise money for Suncoast Charities and generate strong economic impact for the area. This year’s Fun Run now offers an all-inclusive VIP Captain and Passenger Package, which we hope will entice boaters to spend their entire July 4 weekend here in Sarasota.”

The Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix is set for the weekend prior to the Suncoast Summer Fest Fun Run.

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