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INAUGURAL CHARLOTTE HARBOR SUPER BOAT GRAND PRIX

INAUGURAL CHARLOTTE HARBOR SUPER BOAT GRAND PRIX

Powerboat Racing Comes To Manasota Key April 13


CHARLOTTE HARBOR & THE GULF ISLANDS, Fla. (Jan. 27, 2014) – This April, when the man on the public address system captivates the crowd announcing: “Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines,” they won’t be in Daytona Beach on the International Speedway.  Instead they’ll be signaling the inaugural Charlotte Harbor Super Boat Grand Prix powerboat race along Manasota Key. Similar to Formula One car racing, Super Boat racing is the highest class of powerboat racing in the world, with competitors’ speeds reaching up to 180 mph.

Many teams are preparing for the area’s inaugural race, which will feature two races on Sunday taking place in the Gulf of Mexico between Stump Pass and Englewood Beach. These highly completive boats race in many classes and all will display exciting levels of competition and side-by-side racing.

Teams will begin arriving Friday April 11 and stage their boats and equipment at the designated “dry pits” along Englewood Beach/Chadwick Park. Fans can come see their favorite teams throughout the weekend.  At Friday’s parade in Punta Gorda, when teams test the waters on Saturday, and on Sunday during the two races at noon and 2:00 p.m., fans can watch all the on-the-water excitement from the beautiful shoreline along Manasota Key in Charlotte County, Fla.

Event Schedule:

Friday, April 11 - Parade and display in Punta Gorda, with parade step-off at 4:30 PM and a static boat display downtown 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 12 - Manasota Key: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. meet and greet with drivers at “dry pits,” VIP parties, beach party with live music, bikini & beefcake contest, vendors and boat testing all day.

Sunday, April 13 - Race Day on Manasota Key. Two races: noon and 2:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony at 5:00 p.m. Note: There will be no parking at the race site Saturday/Sunday; there will be nine satellite parking areas and shuttle buses will transport visitors to the viewing area. For more information on the event, sponsorship opportunities, volunteering and VIP Packages please visit www.chsbgp.com.

Inaugurated in 1981, F1 powerboat racing is a Grand Prix style event, in which teams compete around the world each season. In the 2013 season, a total of 23 drivers and 9 teams entered at least one race, with 16 boats competing full-time. The races take place along a course of approximately five miles with multiple turns, over which the boats can reach 180 miles per hour. The races are longer than most powerboat races, at approximately 45 minutes, but still shorter than many car races.

It is anticipated some 30,000 spectators from across the country will flock to Englewood and Stump Pass beaches to view the Charlotte Harbor Super Boat Grand Prix. For hotel accommodation information please visit: www.chsbgp.com and for airline service and destination attraction information: http://www.charlotteharbortravel.com.

Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands offer lots more excitement too. Visitors will want to stay beyond the race weekend and enjoy many of the following activities:

• Muscle Car City
• Fishing
• Paddle Boarding
• Kayaking
• Canoeing
• Golf
• Shelling
• Babcock Wilderness Preserve Swamp Buggy Tours
• Eco-adventures
• Hiking
• Sky Diving
• Punta Gorda Mural Tour
• Sunset Cruises
• Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary
• Bike/Hiking Trails

About Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands
Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands offers a pristine unspoiled beauty that has served as the backdrop for seven major feature films as well as countless memorable vacations.  A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has been named one of SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” The city of Punta Gorda was named in one of “Top Ten Places to Retire Healthy” by U.S. News & World Report. Englewood was named second of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.com. 

The area is served by five airports for travel convenience: The Charlotte County Airport (PDG) with private and charter air service, Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Southwest Florida International Airport, Ft. Myers, (RSW), St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) and Tampa International Airport (TIA).
For information about other area events, activities and attractions, contact the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, 18500 Murdock Circle, Suite B104, Port Charlotte, FL 33948; 941-743-1900, or call toll free at 1-800-652-6090 for a free Visitor Guide; or visit the website at www.CharlotteHarborTravel.com.

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Download images of Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands from this link: https://www.cleanpix.com/cleanpix/portal/W1hgR-Q8f-M26

CONTACTS: 
Jennifer Huber                
Tourism Public Relations Manager                         
Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau      
(941) 743-1900                                                     
Jennifer.Huber@CharlotteFL.com

Mary Jane Kolassa / Cindy Dobyns
Above Water Public Relations & Marketing
(407) 463-0040 / (239) 596-9149
MJKolassa@AboveWater.com  / CDobyns@AboveWater.com

Charlotte Harbor Visitor
& Convention Bureau
18500 Murdock Circle, Suite B104
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
941-743-1900, FAX: 941-764-4932
www.CharlotteHarborTravel.com