ABC 7 gets ride in a retired Suncoast race boat

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Posted: Thursday, July 4, 2013 4:02 pm | Updated: 9:58 am, Mon Jul 8, 2013.

SARASOTA - We are just days away from the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix.

This time of year, many are left to wonder what it's like behind the wheel of a race boat. ABC 7's Fallon Silcox found out this morning and took us along for the ride.

Dan Lawrence owns “Loan Shark”. He's a Sarasota native and on Sunday his team is racing The Hulk at the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix, but today he let me get behind the wheel. “This is Loan Shark. This is a boat that in its first debut won Sarasota It’s now a retired race boat.”

I think I missed my true calling, and yes it's a little bumpy at 100 miles per hour. These boats are a lot of fun to drive, but they are also a lot of fun to watch, and event organizers say the grand prix brings a big crowd every year.

“Last year we had 13,000 hotel room nights sold out…14.3 million dollars for economic impact…over 30 boats are already registered,” says Lucy Nicandri of the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix.

What’s even better is that the festivities benefit the Suncoast Charities for Children. In all his years of racing around the world, Lawrence says this is the only race he knows of that contributes towards a good cause, and puts Sarasota on the map for boat racing.

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