Rescheduled from its original May 14-17 dates for August 27-28 in response to COVID-19 pandemic safety concerns, the Thunder On Cocoa Beach offshore powerboat race has been cancelled. After consulting with the event’s board of directors and sponsors, Kerry Bartlett, the longtime race director for the Cocoa Beach venue, announced the decision to cancel the 11th annual Florida contest today.
The producers of the 10th annual Thunder On Cocoa Beach event postponed their final decision as long as they could, but officially cancelled the event today. Photo from the 2019 Thunder On Cocoa Beach race by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedonthewater.com.
“This decision is out of pure concern for the safety of our racers and fans,” he said. “The port (Port Canaveral) was supposed to let us know on June 28 if we were a go. That’s a Sunday, so I reached out to them earlier this week and they told me they would prefer us to reschedule for next year. We agreed with their guidance. After talking with members of the board and several sponsors, we decided it was best not to push it this year.”
Originally slated as the 2020 American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series season-opener, last year’s event attracted a record-setting fleet for the beach city venue. With Cocoa Beach now off for 2020, the Fort Myers Beach contest on the other side of the Sunshine State is the only remaining race in what was planned to be another six-race series.
Bartlett vowed that the Cocoa Beach event will return in 2021.
“Cocoa Beach will come back bigger and better next year,” he said. “That much I can promise.”
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