No matter where you were on Fort Myers Beach last Saturday, chances are, you heard the roar of powerboat racing in the Gulf of Mexico as the offshore races returned to the island after 13 years absence.
The inaugural Roar Offshore Powerboat Races took place last week on Fort Myers Beach, culminating Saturday, October 12, with a total of 68 boats racing in five separate races. With heightened interest in how this new event would play out and no attendance figures shared by public safety officials, post event estimates of how many people came to town for the event ranged from 20,000 to 70,000. Many local businesses reported an increase in visitor traffic and sales, especially those with a view of the offshore race course.
Thursday’s boat parade from the Race Village at Salty Sam’s to Old San Carlos Blvd and Times Square, where a street party was held, drew both race fans and curious locals for a look at the powerboats that would compete Saturday. The Race Village offered another close-up look at the teams and powerboats. On race day, hundreds of boats watched the races from the Gulf, as thousands lined the shoreline and watched from beachfront bars and hotels.
Roar Offshore was the sixth race in American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series and several of the races were hotly contested. Dubai’s Victory 3 Team earned a national championship in the final race of the day, a six boat Class One race that went 12 laps after a restart. Wide Open Racing took first in the Super Stock class as a rookie team. LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness/Rev-X Oil took first place in the Pro Stock V division. In the Super Vee Extreme class, Punisher took the checkered flag. The Supercat-class race was won by ProFloors Racing. Instigator won the two boat Vee Extreme 10-lap race.
Race Village at Salty Sam’s Marina provided an up close look at the race boats. Photo by Sarah List.
The winner of the Class One division, Victory 3. Photo by Ken Platt.
The Miss Geico on the race course. Photo by Ken Platt.
The Play It Again, in the ProStock V class, races past offshore spectators. Photo by Liliana Traub.
Powerboats #LivingRight and Wazzup compete in the Class 3 division. Photo by Liliana Traub.