A one-hour television special covering the 31st annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival June 27-July 5 will air on CBS Sports Network Wednesday, July 15, at 7 p.m. (EST) with an encore showing to air at 11 p.m., according to a press release from the organizers in the Florida city. The show will feature six powerboat classes that the organizers expect to participate.
The Offshore Powerboat Grand Prix and Powerboat P1 USA will sanction the races in Sarasota this year. According to the press release, the change from Super Boat International, which had sanctioned the event in previous years, was made because the charity could not commit to signing a five-year long-term contract requested by SBI leadership.
“Like any special event, we have to take it one year at a time since this annual festival and race are contingent upon financial sponsorship support,” said Lucy Nicandri, the director of the festival. “You can’t keep doing things the same way and expect to grow and secure key funding. This year’s sanctioning gave us an opportunity to grow and expand.”
Having P1 Aqua X USA—(personal watercraft racers) and P1 Superstock USA (single-outboard engine, open-cockpit V-bottoms) adds television exposure with programming on FOX Sun Sports and MAV TV in addition to CBS Sports Network, according to the release. With television coverage, a significant prize purse (read the story) and two full days of continuous racing, the organizers expect to attract a broader demographic to the Sarasota area and attract racers “from around the world.” To date, more than 20 powerboats and 50 personal watercraft are registered for the event.
The festival is produced by Suncoast Charities for Children. The charitable, non-profit organization is responsible for raising $250,000 in sponsorship to cover expenses, including those necessary to produce the Bayfront Fireworks Display.
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