Clearwater Offshore Nationals
Bring Fun, Food & Excitement to Clearwater Beach
11th Annual Hooters Clearwater Offshore Nationals is coming again to Clearwater Beach! Some of the best and fastest power boats in the world will come to Clearwater September 27 to 29 for the 11th annual Clearwater Offshore Nationals. Partnering with Race World Offshore, Clearwater brings the best of Offshore Powerboat Racing’s teams and fans to their city and beaches for a weekend of boat racing excitement. For the past decade fans on the beach and offshore have witnessed great offshore racing.
Clearwater organizers continue to expand the event to make it even better. Now a new alignment with Race World Offshore, the Official Sanctioning Body, will grow the sport even bigger and expand opportunities with our Gulf Coast communities and Key West. Race World Offshore is officially sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association. Race World Offshore c lasses include the world’s biggest and fastest power boats, including U.S. Class-1, Super Cat and Super Vee; Prostock Cat and Prostock Vee; APBA Class 1-7, and P1 Superstock.
Sunday’s race day expects some 50,000 people and over 2,500 boats lining the beaches of the 2.5-mile-long race course off Clearwater’s Pier 60 for a chance to advance to the Power Boat Nationals in Key West November 3 through 10. But it isn’t all about boat racing. The event-packed weekend offers a lot of fun surprises.
There’ll be fireworks, delicious food and drinks, parties, parades and much more. Many beach-going spectators enjoy the races from Clearwater’s award-winning beach on the white sugar sand, while others take advantage of the VIP watch parties from the comfort of sponsor hotels, restaurants and condos throughout the island.
It all begins on Friday, Sept. 27, with arrival and registration of the boats from noon to 7 p.m. at Coachman Park. There is no charge to be on hand, but Bayshore Restaurants will have some delicious foods and drinks available for purchase. Downtown Cleveland Street will be the site Friday evening for a Boat Parade and Block Party with live entertainment from 6:45 to 9:30 p.m., presented by Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. That evening there also will be vendors and live entertainment at Pier 60 from 6 to 9 p.m. VIP ticket holders will be treated to an ice cream cone, courtesy of Pier 60 Concessions. And from 8 p.m. to close Shepard’s Beach Resort will host a VIP party.
Boat captains will meet Saturday morning to get instructions, and the fun will continue from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with an opportunity for fans to see the boats on display at Powerboat Race Village and to watch their favorites doing practice runs off Clearwater Beach. Food and beer trucks will be on hand throughout the day. This also is free to the public.
Baystar Restaurant Group will host a VIP Party for VIP ticketholders at Coachman Park, where they will have an opportunity to meet race teams and special guests from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday evening. There’ll be a Steel Drum Cocktail Party with Heavy Appetizers hosted by Baystar Restaurant Group and the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce. That evening there also will be a Kick-Off Party at Shephard’s Beach Resort from 8 p.m. until close, with a Live Band playing from 8 to 12 p.m. and a DJ keeping the music going until the party ends.
Sunday is Race Day. Races in the various Power Boat classes are scheduled to begin at 12 noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., but these times are subject to change. There will be multiple classes per race, and some of the races may have two starts. Viewing for the public at Pier 60 will cost $20 for adults and $10 for children under 12, with tickets available the day of the race. No chairs or coolers will be permitted on the Pier. VIP Ticket holders will have an opportunity to view the races from several of the Clearwater Beach hotels and the Clearwater Yacht Club.
The Race Party and Awards Ceremony is set for 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday at Marina Cantina. Locals, fans and teams are all welcome. There’ll be happy hour specials, and the awards will be presented at 6 p.m. From 4 0p.m. to close, Shephard’s will hold the Largest Post-Race Beach Party, sponsored by the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce. There’ll be live music, an NFL watch party and Tiki & Salt Tequila Bar as well as sun and fun on the beach. Admission to this event is free.
Proceeds from the 2019 Hooters Clearwater Offshore Nationals will support Tampa Bay Charities, Inc., the Clearwater Community Sailing Center and Sailability Tampa Bay. These charities share the common focus of connecting the community to its waters and enabling children and adults alike to enjoy the paradise in which they live. Volunteers are needed to help with the event. Contact Erin McKie, volunteer coordinator, at 727-517-7776 or email her at [email protected]. For more information on this year’s event, visit www.HootersClearwaterOffshoreNationals.
Feature Photos courtesy and copyright by Dorian Photography for Destination Tampa Bay magazine. Other images provided by Clearwater Offshore Nationals.