This Friday, September 27 through Sunday, September 29, the Gulf of Mexico waters play host to the Bright House Clearwater Super Boat National Championship & Seafood Festival. Get ready for boats equipped with F-16 jet canopies, 6,000-horsepower engines, and race speeds of up to 180 mph. The race features some of the largest and fastest offshore power boats in the world. This event is a crowd-pleaser, which is evidenced by last year’s attendance numbers of upwards of 65,000 people.
This three-day event is packed with fun and festivities that extend beyond the race itself. The activities begin on Friday with the Baystar Race Village (next to Clearwater Harbor Marina and Coachman Park) from noon to 5p.m. for the chance to see the boats up close and then continues in downtown Clearwater with the Super Boat Parade down Cleveland Street at 6:30p.m. Take the opportunity to meet the drivers and crews and get their autographs at Baystar Race Village. Also enjoy live music and free family fun including live music, contests, games, prizes, food and drink vendors, and so much more.
On Saturday from 10a.m. to 10p.m., spend a full day at Baystar Race Village as the free fun continues with boats, autographs, photos and meet-and-greets with the drivers. Indulge in seafood from local restaurants, as well as other food and beverages from area vendors, while you enjoy live music and watch the super boat practice runs. Finish off the evening from 6-9p.m. on Pier 60 where you’ll find more vendors, ice cream, and a magnificent fireworks display.
Sunday is race day with boat launchings from 10a.m. to noon. Super boat race Heat 1 begins at noon and Heat 2 begins at 2p.m. The race course start/finish line is located in front of Clearwater Beach and can be seen free anywhere north of Pier 60. You can watch the race from Pier 60 for a ticketed price available for purchase the day of the race at the pier ($5 and $20 tickets are available). Super boat awards presentations wrap up the race and occur from 4:30-5:30p.m.
This is only a summary of the activities you’ll find surrounding the boat race this weekend. If you’re looking to experience the race in style, there are VIP options available. For full details, visit the Bright House Clearwater Super Boat National Championship and Seafood Festival’s Schedule of Events page.
Are you looking to stay locally on the Gulf Coast but want to avoid the crowds? Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Rocks Shores offer the quiet, uncrowded beaches you’re looking for and the beachfront accommodations you desire. They are close and conveniently located to Clearwater, so you can still enjoy the race festivities this weekend without the hassle of the crowds. Make your plans now!
Let us know if we’ll see you at the boat race this weekend. We’d love to hear from you and hope to see you there!
*Photos courtesy of the Bright House Super Boat National Championship & Seafood Festival.