SARASOTA, FL- Trying to catch a glimpse of the high-speed action brought thousands of people to Lido Key beach.
Grills, tents, and perhaps a few adult beverages. It was a party where power boats just happened to be whizzing by at more than 100 miles per hour.
"It's a good time. Boat races Sarasota is the place you need to be at." Those like onlooker J.R. Saint say they feel the need. The need for "Speed, speed, speed, and speed."
Camped out to get a good look. Just a few hundred feet from where the million dollar muscle machines slice through the water. passing in an instant. "The coolest part is when the boats arrive," says Nathan Cavanaugh.
Packed parking lots and coolers. The 29th annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix was simply the thing to do for many. "When you see a whole lot of people going in one direction is hard not to want to come see what is going on." A tradition for some and a new experience for those like Stephen VanDyke who recently moved to the area. "I am interested in boats and this is fun to see what is happening. This is a big scene for Sarasota."
A pumped up crowd which has helped pump money into the local economy. An event Sarasota has become known for says Gerry Rathay. "It's cool. It's great. It's one of the reasons I love this area, Sarasota. One of the reasons I moved down here."
Big waves and rooster tails, another year of racing in the books. The 30th annual event is officially less than 365 days away. "If you are not here this year come out next year and we're gonna have a good time," says Saint.
Hopefully there will be a 30th year for the race and festival. This year funding was short and event organizers said it might not go on. That was until county commissioners approved nearly $80,000. More than double what they had planned on.