Ahead of the July 4th Celebrations in the USA, yesterday was the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival off the coast of Sarasota at Lido Beach. The high speed race took place offshore on a 7 mile circuit, mapped out in the water. This year we were lucky enough to catch part of the race from the beach at the hotel where we were staying. Think bellowing engines, prodigious waves and resplendent boats. As the race began it seemed we weren’t the only ones taking our seat, the local Pelicans, Heron and Dolphins all took centre stage on the beach and waited patiently, without so much as a flinch, for the start.
The local area is well known for its marine life and has one of the worlds most thriving manatee aggregations, this was something that had crossed my mind as I was watching the race and wondered how the marine species would be protected. I was re assured to discover that during the race several specialised helicopters and boats patrolled the track to ensure no dolphins or manatees would be in danger, in the event of them crossing the track, the race would be stopped until the area was clear of any species that could be effected. One of the most fascinating elements to the race was the water jam that had formed along the coast, with thousands of boats, (spectators), lining the race track ready to watch.