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Plenty of activities surrounding the powerboat races

By Staff | Oct 3, 2019

Roar Offshore gives spectators all the action they can handle on the water, but onshore Fort Myers Beach, attendees will be treated to a myriad of race-related events to enjoy across nearly a week of excitement.

The festivities begin for the American Powerboat Association Roar Offshore event on Fort Myers Beach Oct. 7 with a kick-off social mixer at Fresh Catch Bistro.

This event will be a chance to grab VIP packages for race day that includes a private table, bar and food service as well as a more shaded and air conditioned area to observe the action at “turn 1,” the best seat in the house.

“All fans are welcome to come out,” said Tim Hill, Roar Offshore president. “There will be live entertainment and a chef sampling.”

Chef Pablo will be serving up delectable eats for $15 per person. There is no charge for entry and you do no have to commit to the prefixed sampling.

Thursday, Oct. 10, will see Race Village at Salty Sam’s open to the public where boat-enthusiasts can get an up close and personal look at the powerboats that will be competing, and speak with members of each race team.

“Race Village is an intimate experience,” Hill said. “You’ll be able to see the motors, boats, tow rigs — it’s an exciting opportunity.”

The village is free to all and will offer a not-for-profit beer garden to help wet your whistle while exploring all the scenery.

“You can get right up to the boats,” Hill said. “You can touch them, get a picture with them and get to meet with team members to talk details.”

A parade will take place that evening, as the Matanzas Pass Bridge will be shut down for 30 minutes to make way for the boats and teams coming over and into downtown Fort Myers Beach.

“We’ll line the streets of the entertainment district,” Hill said.

Parade time begins at 5:45 and go down Old San Carlos Boulevard into Times Square and down 2nd and 5th Street.

The boats will be parked along each side of the street and is another opportunity for fans to come out and chat with the teams and their boats.

There will be a street party after the parade downtown from 6-10 p.m. with live entertainment.

On Friday, it’s time to drop the vessels into the water and test and tune in preparation for the big day Saturday.

“The public can be in the pits watching all the action,” Hill said. “They can also watch on the Gulf side on the water as well.”

Boats will be zooming around testing their motors and making sure all the nuts and bolts of their operation are fully functional.

Live entertainment will be happening at Salty Sam’s/Race Village all day.

Saturday is the main event, where all 13 classes of boats will be out vying for a championship.

Classes 1-7 open the racing Saturday morning at 10 a.m.

“Superstock,” “Super Vee Extreme” and “Pro Stock Vee” will race at 11:30. “Supercat” will race at 12:30 and “Class One” and “Vee Extreme” at 2.

That night, an awards ceremony will be held at DiamondHead Beach Resort at 6:30 p.m.

“This is a unique opportunity for fans to be a part of our awards celebration, not something usually done in the industry,” Hill said.

For more information, visit www.RoarOffshore.com.

Salty Sam’s is at 2500 Main St.

DiamondHead Beach Resort is at 2000 Ester Blvd.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj