Powerboat Racing Event in Manatee County – Bay News 9
MANATEE COUNTY —
The countdown is on for the first ever major powerboat racing event in Manatee County.
In just a little more than two weeks, the Inaugural Bradenton Area Riverwalk Regatta will take place.
On Tuesday, organizers held a press conference about the event to give a preview of what the public can expect.
Superleague powerboats raced down the Manatee River along with Jet Skis. Organizers said this is just a small sample of what will be at the event.
On Feb. 7, Superleague powerboats will speed along the river going from 0-100/mph in less than four seconds, along with HydroCross jet skiers, and more in between Palmetto and Bradenton.
There will also be fireworks, bands, as well as extreme activities like flyboarding and Xpogo.
“Bradenton is eagerly anticipating the Bradenton Riverwalk Regatta this February,” Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston said. “This is the first signature event for Bradenton and Palmetto, both of whose shores embrace the beautiful, mile-wide Manatee River. Energy and enthusiasm are building on both sides of the Manatee, and the excitement is spreading over all of Tampa Bay. We are proud to co-host the Regatta and strengthen our alliance with the City of Pittsburgh, where a similar event originated.”
Thousands are expected to attend. Those participating said they’re working around the clock to prepare.
“We’ve been talking about it for weeks now,” said John Horne, Owner of the Anna Maria Oyster Bar Landside Restaurant in Bradenton. “We’re trying to decide how much food we need to bring.”
Horne’s restaurant is one of twelve local eateries that will be serving food at the regatta. He is featuring Fish and Chips and he said he hopes he has enough.
“We’re expecting over 50,000 people, so we’ll probably order for 70,000 to 75,000,” said Horne. “If we run out after 75,000 we’ll all be ecstatic.”
In addition to the food and entertainment preparations already underway, city and county officials are also preparing for all of the road closures and detours, because of the event.”
“Our goal is to inform the community as well as out-of-towners,” said David Gustafson, the Executive Director of the Bradenton Downtown Development Authority. “Our goal is to have signage. Those orange signs will be located east, west, north, south and on all of the major thoroughfares a week in advance, so that way people can understand exactly where they need to go.”
The Green Bridge will be closed to traffic from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the day of the event. He said to avoid a traffic nightmare, he and a team have come up with a list of detours, public parking spots, walking distances from certain locations and more for the public to view ahead of time.
The Inaugural Bradenton Area Riverwalk Regatta will also feature live music and fireworks. It is free and open to the public.