Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix postponed

2019 event had economic impact of $29.6 million

The 35th Annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival, which featured races off Lido Beach in early July 2019, is an important booster for county tourism in the summer. It is sponsored by Suncoast Charities for Children. Image from the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Facebook page

Organizers for the 36th Annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, originally scheduled for June 26-28, have announced the race will not be held on those dates. A news release says they are hoping to reschedule it, “pending CDC [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], state, and local government guidelines.”

In 2019, the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix generated an estimated economic impact of $29.6 million and 16,800 room nights, the release points out.

“Knowing both the economic and charitable benefits this event generates, this was a very difficult decision to make,” Lucy Nicandri, executive director of Suncoast Charities for Children, said in the release. Suncoast Charities is the primary organizer of the annual Grand Prix Festival.

“However,” Nicandri continued in the release, “it is important for Suncoast Charities for Children to abide by all future national/state/local governmental guidelines governing all outdoor special events as the state of Florida slowly reopens.”

Like other nonprofit organizations in the state, the release notes, Suncoast Charities for Children “needs to maintain the financial flexibility to respond and continue supporting programs and services for those in need.”

Powerboat P1 CEO Azam Rangoonwala and Offshore Powerboat Association President Roland Smith “both 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,” the release adds.

For more updates on the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, visit the website or via the Facebook page @SarasotaGrandPrix.