Englewood off shore boat race is a success for the community

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ENGLEWOOD, FLA. - Thousands of spectators lined Englewood Beach to watch the inaugural Charlotte Harbor Super Boat Grand Prix.

The off shore race boats reached speeds of 180 miles per hour while racing on a circular course in front of fans watching on shore and by boat.

“It is a relaxing day,” said Claude Snidzek. He and his wife go to Englewood beach every day so even though they are not boat racing fans they decided to try something new over the weekend.

“I came down and I was walking the pits yesterday and I got some great pictures and I sent them back home to my kids,” said Englewood resident, Kevin Platz.

Dan Lawrence from Siesta Key is the throttle man for the Hulk offshore racing team.

“The throttle man is responsible for running the boat, the engines, and the attitude of the boat. It is a tricky job when you are on the water,” said Lawrence.

Lawrence has been racing for 20 years and was thrilled with the reception from the community.

“Englewood has embraced us. The whole community is out here, it is a beautiful day.”

Pat O’Conner owns the White Elephant Pub. His customers had front row seats to watch race team launch and recover their boats. He says the festivities surrounding the race weekend have been great for local businesses and the community.

“This is a different crowd and introduces new people to the area, it makes it interesting, said O’Conner.

While the race was a first for Englewood, off shore racing fans can see the same boats and crew-members again in Sarasota during the July 4th weekend for the 30th Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix.