Sarasota preps for Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix - WFLA News Channel 8

Sarasota preps for Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix

Posted: Updated:
One of the boats participating in the race. One of the boats participating in the race.
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Some of the fastest speedboats around will be competing in a high-octane race off Sarasota beaches this weekend.

It's time for the 29th annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix. There will be around 30 boats racing off the shores of Lido Beach, with some coming close to 200 miles per hour.

Driver Rob Munziato said, "It's kinda like trying to handle something that's out of control."

Munziato is the driver of "The Hulk".  He's a national champion who's competed on the water since 1996.  He says speed isn't the only factor to winning the race.

"The last race in Cocoa Beach, we were in the lead the whole time," Munziato said,  "And then we landed on the side and broke a motor and lost, so luck plays a lot into it."

And he can't go anywhere without his throttle man, Dan Lawrence.

"Running a boat over 85 miles per hour takes skill. Accidents happen over 85, and then its exponential, so you go to 100, 110, 120, it's a whole new world," said Lawrence. "If you hit a wave the wrong way, your boat's going over, and there are a lot of accidents unfortunately in our sport."

The boaters and spectators are not the only ones who benefit in this race.

Lawrence said, "It's not a profit incentive, it's for a foundation for children."

Since 1985, the annual Sarasota race has raised around $14 million for children and others with special needs.

Lawrence said, "All the racers know it ... primarily, most of us donate our winnings to charity at the end of the event."

Munziato said the Suncoast Grand Prix race is a favorite among some of the competitors.

"Sarasota and Key West are our two best stops of the year. We always get the most amount of spectators and the most amount of race boats turn out for these 2 races," he said.

The first race begins off Lido beach on Sunday morning at 11 am.  If you want to get a good spot, be prepared to get there early.

Starting at 7 p.m. on Friday night, there will be a parade of boats down Main Street in downtown Sarasota.  Famed aerialist Nik Wallenda will be the honorary Grand Marshal of the parade.

Click here for a full list of July 4th celebrations across the Bay area.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Woman says she bought tainted Hostess donettes at Sarasota gas station

    Woman says she bought tainted Hostess donettes at Sarasota gas station

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:33 PM EDT2014-08-01 21:33:29 GMT
    Everyone loves a good donut. But not the ones Jena Slinkard bought Thursday night at gas station in Sarasota. She just wanted a yummy, powdered donut late at night. So she bought a few packs, but when she bit into her normal favorite, Hostess Donettes, she spit it right out.
    Everyone loves a good donut. But not the ones Jena Slinkard bought Thursday night at gas station in Sarasota. She just wanted a yummy, powdered donut late at night. So she bought a few packs, but when she bit into her normal favorite, Hostess Donettes, she spit it right out.
  • Back-to-School Tax-free Holiday is here

    Back-to-School Tax-free Holiday is here

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:37:09 GMT
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
  • Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:10:55 GMT
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
  • NewsMore>>

  • No love for Lyft in the Tampa Bay area?

    No love for Lyft in the Tampa Bay area?

    Friday, August 1 2014 6:27 PM EDT2014-08-01 22:27:16 GMT
    Kevin Ludig feels like a rock star – he loves his job at Lyft that much.“You know I keep telling people I feel like a rock star because everyone keeps talking about what I do,” joked Kevin in his sleek Mercury MKS Hybrid. “I love this job.”Kevin uses his life at Lyft as a supplement to his work in solar panel sales.
    Kevin Ludig feels like a rock star – he loves his job at Lyft that much.“You know I keep telling people I feel like a rock star because everyone keeps talking about what I do,” joked Kevin in his sleek Mercury MKS Hybrid. “I love this job.”Kevin uses his life at Lyft as a supplement to his work in solar panel sales.
  • Cities not interested in joining combined 911 center in Pinellas County

    Cities not interested in joining combined 911 center in Pinellas County

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:42 PM EDT2014-08-01 21:42:56 GMT
    Thursday Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told county commissioners and others attending a tour of his new Public Safety Complex that "it's time [for Clearwater, Largo, Pinellas Park and Tarpon Springs] to stop the nonsense" and combine their police dispatch operations with the new 911 center located inside his headquarters.
    Thursday Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told county commissioners and others attending a tour of his new Public Safety Complex that "it's time [for Clearwater, Largo, Pinellas Park and Tarpon Springs] to stop the nonsense" and combine their police dispatch operations with the new 911 center located inside his headquarters.
  • Woman says she bought tainted Hostess donettes at Sarasota gas station

    Woman says she bought tainted Hostess donettes at Sarasota gas station

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:33 PM EDT2014-08-01 21:33:29 GMT
    Everyone loves a good donut. But not the ones Jena Slinkard bought Thursday night at gas station in Sarasota. She just wanted a yummy, powdered donut late at night. So she bought a few packs, but when she bit into her normal favorite, Hostess Donettes, she spit it right out.
    Everyone loves a good donut. But not the ones Jena Slinkard bought Thursday night at gas station in Sarasota. She just wanted a yummy, powdered donut late at night. So she bought a few packs, but when she bit into her normal favorite, Hostess Donettes, she spit it right out.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.