In response to the City of Sarasota’s recent announcement that it was postponing “all upcoming events until further notice” as a result of the ongoing novel coronavirus crisis, organizers of the 36th annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix have officially postponed their June 26-28 Southwest Florida event. The news was announced this afternoon in a press release from the organization.
The Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix will not happen in June and no alternative dates have been selected. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedonthewater.com.
As previously reported, the organizers had chosen August 14-16 as alternative dates for races, which concludes the weeklong Sarasota Grand Prix Festival benefitting Suncoast Charities for Children. Those dates are no longer valid and new dates have not been announced.
“The contingency date of August 14-16 previously announced is not an option currently, since we do not know what guidelines we may be facing as the President and our local Governor reopen the state of Florida,” said Lucy Nicandri, the executive for Suncoast Charities for Children and the lead organizer of the event. “I was hoping we could announce a firm date as we are trying our best to reschedule. However, I cannot at this time due to recovery stages and restrictions from COVID-19 being so fluid at the moment.”
Last year, the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix generated an estimated economic impact of $29.6 million for the area.
“Knowing both the economic and charitable benefits this event generates, this was a very difficult decision to make,” said Nicandri. “However, it is important for Suncoast Charities for Children to abide by all future national, state and local guidelines governing all outdoor special events as the state of Florida slowly reopens.”
The Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix was slated to be the second contest in the six-race 2020 American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series, which for the second year in a row is being produced by the Offshore Powerboat Association and Powerboat P1 groups. According to the release, Powerboat P1 chief executive officer Azam Rangoonwala and Offshore Powerboat Association President Ed Smith “expressed their full understanding of the need for race site promoters to seriously consider postponing their events to allow sufficient recovery time from the coronavirus pandemic.”