Grand Prix organizers hope to exceed economic impact in this year’s races

Powerboat Races

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Despite the weather, it was another successful year for the 35th Annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix.

“Almost 70 boats raced on this event and it’s been awesome this weekend , super close tight action out there,” said Azam Rangoonwala, Powerboat P1 CEO.

Even with rain, hundreds headed to Lido Beach to see the race, and cheer on their favorite teams.

“Great atmosphere out there. We had a little bit of rain but we kept going and there were awesome number of spectators out there,” he said.

Even the City of Sarasota prepared for the crowds.

“Since last year’s races, the city has completed and almost 500 new space parking garage in St. Armand’s. It’s only three blocks from Lido Beach. There’ll be a shuttle out there running as well,” said City Manager Tom Barwin.

Organizers believe more than 90,000 people, locals to out-of-state visitors, took part of all the events during the past 10 days.

“Last year there was a $21 million economic impact so with the big increase and the amount of boats this year and the extended stays, we’re certainly hoping to meet or exceed that number for this year,” said Lucy Nicandri, festival organizer.

They believe the rain won’t affect those earnings at all.

“The rain it actually worked in our favor. It cooled things off. We had some overcast skies but the water conditions were great to race today,” said Nicandri.

The proceeds will be given to charity.

“All the proceeds go to the Suncoast Charities for Children, and this is what this race is all about,” said Rangoonwala.

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