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Power Boat Race Events have Weekend Stage in Pensacola
Power boat racing is coming to Pensacola.
The inaugural Pensacola Grand Prix, part of the Gulf Coast Powerboat Association series, will be Sunday on Pensacola Bay. The four-mile race course will be behind the Community Maritime Park and Blue Wahoos stadium and near Three Mile Bridge.
The event is part of the Flora-Bama Shootout, being promoted as “Thunder on the Gulf.” The first event is today at Orange Beach for the 11th annual Orange Beach Thunder on the Gulf. Races will be at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. today at Orange Beach.
The power boat teams and transporters will then head to Pensacola, where there will be a boat parade and race village downtown on Saturday at Plaza de Luna on Jefferson Street. The parade will start at 6 p.m. Saturday and will traverse Garden Street.
The Pensacola Grand Prix starts with a first race at 1 p.m. Sunday. The event concludes with an awards ceremony at 6 p.m. at Seville Quarter.
The power boats have 3,300 horsepower engines and could approach speeds of 100 mph. Depending on conditions today on the Gulf of Mexico, then Pensacola Bay on Sunday, it will affect the racing action. The weather forecast is good.
“The hope is to bring more of these mammoth race boats to the Flora-Bama coast,” said event coordinator Kathy Melson.
Among the top competitors are the Miss Geico race team, which is a seven time world champion.
“We’re excited to be back racing out on the open ocean,” said Miss Geico throttleman Scott Begovich.
“The Flora-Bama rivalry will kick things into a higher gear.”
Organizers said spectators will have a good view the Blue Wahoos stadium and Community Maritime Park area and from the north shore of Pensacola Bay. If on boat, recommending viewing is from south of the Port of Pensacola, south of the safety zone.
To ease traffic and crowd concerns, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos rescheduled their Sunday game from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to accommodate fans wishing to attend both events.
Want to go?
• What: Inaugural Thunder Run in Pensacola
• When: Saturday and Sunday
• Where: Plaza de Luna
• Skinny: Superboat Parade will take place in Downtown Pensacola beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday; Race village will open at 10 a.m. on Sunday with first race at 1 p.m. and second race at 2 p.m.