Race Weekend Is Here!
Roar Offshore powerboat race events continue on Fort Myers Beach Friday and Saturday, October 11 & 12, with testing, tuning and the Festival of Speed Friday and the races Saturday. Roar Offshore concludes the seasons of both the American Power Boat Association (APBA) and Offshore Powerboat Association (OPA) as their National Championships! 2019 is the inaugural APBA Offshore Championship six-race series that climaxes during the Roar Offshore that also serves as the OPA National Championship.
The five-mile offshore course runs from roughly 600 Estero Boulevard, north of Lynn Hall Park, to 3000 Estero Boulevard, near Fire Station 31, with the Start/Finish line at the DiamondHead Resort, 2000 Estero Boulevard. It features 8 turns, with one rare left-hand turn on the backside of the course.
Activities on Friday, October 11, feature the Salty Sam’s Race Village with dry pits & vendor exhibits on San Carlos Island at 2500 Main Street from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Cranes will launch race boats into the water for testing and tuning from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. DiamondHead hosts a VIP Race Team Meet-&-Greet from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., with the Festival of Speed open to all at Salty Sam’s from 4 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, October 12, is race day! Salty Sam’s Race Village is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with Opening Ceremonies at DiamondHead at 10:30 a.m. Races are from 11 a.m. to roughly 3:30 p.m., with the DiamondHead hosting the Award Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. and Closing Ceremony at 8 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, Race Day moves to Sunday, October 13.
There are 13 classes, broken into several races on October 12. Depending on class, each race runs 4-11 laps. The first race begins at 10 a.m., for Classes 1 through 7. These powerboats can range from 60 to 115 miles-per-hour. The 11:30 a.m. race features Superstock and Super Vee Extreme and Prostock Vee. Superstocks are catamarans with twin-stock outboard 300 Mercury racing engines that run between 100 to 115 miles-per-hour, while Super Vee and Prostock Vee are V-bottom boats at roughly 100 miles-per-hour.
Supercats compete at 12:30 p.m. These canopied catamarans with twin-powered 750 engines reach speeds near 140 miles-per-hour. Finally, the Class One and Vee Extremes take to the Gulf at 2 p.m. Vee Extremes are V-bottom boats that go up to 120 mph in their 9-lap race, while Class One canopied catamarans with twin inboard 1100 Mercury racing engines attain speeds up to 160 mph!
Parking & Shuttles
Remote parking is available at $5-per-car from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. with shuttles to the beach on Saturday. Free Good Wheels buses will transport race fans from Peace Lutheran Church at 15840 McGregor Boulevard, and Gulf Point Square at 15660 San Carlos Boulevard to the Fort Myers Beach Main Street Park & Ride at 796 San Carlos Boulevard.
LeeTran Buses will charge a nominal fee to transport race fans from CenturyLink Sports Complex at 14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, and Bell Tower Shops at 13499 South Cleveland Avenue, to the Fort Myers Beach Main Street Park & Ride from 7:15 a.m. to 8 p.m.. From there, free Good Wheels Buses will transport people to either the Salty Sam’s Race Village or to Fort Myers Beach.
The Beach Park-&-Ride at Summerlin Square Drive and Pine Ridge Road allows race fans to park and take trolleys to the beach, with trolleys traveling the length of the island from Bowditch Point Park to Lovers Key State Park at 75 cents-per-ride or $2 for the day. There will be free open-air trams operating as well, from Bowditch Point Park to the Beach Library on Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from Noon to 9 p.m.
Free parking will be available at Lovers Key State Park at 8700 Estero Boulevard, with trolley service to Bowditch Point Park and back at the normal rate. Lovers Key parking lot hours are Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Race organizers will livestream Roar Offshore on Facebook, with a post-race broadcast on CBS Sports on Sunday, October 20, at Noon. For final race results, see oparacing.org or http://p1offshore.com. Additional information available at roaroffshore.com.