Grand Prix of the Sea

By on July 17, 2014

Battle On The Bay

Downtown Tampa provided a beautiful back drop (photo by Travis Failey)

Downtown Tampa provided a beautiful back drop for the 2014 Grand Prix of the seas (photo by Travis Failey)

 

The 2014 Grand Prix of the Sea made it inaugural stop in Tampa Bay on Saturday July 12th and Sunday July 13th.  If you are not familiar with the Grand Prix on the Sea, you will be soon enough, especially if you like speed, technical driving skills and fun in the sun.  Nine Panther P1 speedboats and thirty-two stock jet skis of varying horse powers (200, 250 & 300 classes) invaded the bay area around Davis Island and the Tampa Convention Center and by all accounts, it was a great success.

 

We were invited to watch the Saturday races on the Starship Cruise Line by James Durbin, CEO of Powerboat P1 USA and his team. Other guests onboard The Starship to witness the races were members of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, including Rob Higgins. “We’re excited to have the P1 race series making its first appearance in our community” said Higgins, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. “In addition to being a thrilling event, it acts as an ideal opportunity to showcase our beautiful waterfront to a television audience.”

Pro Boat Team of Andy Biddle and Tracy Blumenstien get the checked flag (photo by Travis Failey)

Pro Boat Team of Andy Biddle and Tracy Blumenstien get the checked flag (photo by Travis Failey)

(photo by Travis Failey)

(photo by Travis Failey)

 

All the P1 races are broadcast in the United States on Fox Sports Florida and Mav TV. The Tampa Grand Prix of the Sea is scheduled to be screened on August 5 (SuperStock Championship) and August 10 (AquaX series).

Enjoying the StarShip (photo by Travis Failey)

All smiles enjoying the StarShip (photo by Travis Failey)

 

Prior to the races and after enjoying a fantastic lunch buffet on the Starship (http://www.yachtstarship.com/) we were treated to the aerial and aquatic maneuvers of Ms. Nellie Kubalek on a flyboard (see below).  A flyboard is the equivalent to a jet pack but it is propelled by water and is amazing. She pulled off front and reverse flips and dives with the grace of a dolphin and the kids who witnessed it were asking their parents when and where they were going to try it.

(photo by Travis Failey)

(photo by Travis Failey)

(photo by Travis Failey)

(photo by Travis Failey)

(photo by Travis Failey)

(photo by Travis Failey)

(photo by Travis Failey)

(photo by Travis Failey)

 

After Ms. Nellie Kubalek’s performance, the races commenced with the nine P1 Power Boats battling for the pole position by running a drag race along the top of the water and the Pole winner was C1 Alpha. It looked like they were also going to take the checkered  in the ensuing race but after a heated battle with the Pro Boat team of Andy Biddle and Tracy Blumenstein, they couldn’t hold on to the lead on the last lap and took second. We enjoyed a cold one with the C1 Alpha team of Gene and Paula Weeks after the race and they are looking forward to a heated competition between the two teams the rest of the season. We also talked with Gene about the P1 Panther boats and that they are all manufactured exactly the same from bow to stern and that it all comes down to the driver and the throttleman/woman.  The P1 Panther weighs 3,505 pounds, is twenty-eight feet long, and can reach speeds up to seventy miles per hour.

(photo by Travis Failey)

Great photo with Raymond James Stadium in the background (photo by Travis Failey)3.

Bird's Eye View, or Heli Eye View (photo by Travis Failey)

Bird’s Eye View, or Heli Eye View (photo by Travis Failey)

 

After the first P1 race, the P1AquaX riders were ready to duke it out for the top of the season standings and after a couple of restarts, the three classes of jet-skis were under way.  Blane Spooner took the checkered flag in the Rally Race 1 but finished a disappointing 17th as Anya Cooley took first place for the weekend by finishing in 3rd, 3rd and 2nd in the three races. Stuart Rasmussen finished in second place in his Ultra 310R Kawasaki.

 

The racing continued for the P1 Panther boats on Saturday and Sunday with the Pro Boat team taking home the Tampa Championship.

 

All in all is was a great weekend on the water in Tampa Bay. P1 Superstock and P1AquaX have a prosperous future on the horizon, especially in the Tampa area. With local riders and with the backing of sponsors like Lycamobile and the support of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, The P1 brand should experience continued growth in the years to come.

Tom Damico from Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful is flanked by drivers Gene and Paula Weeks (photo by Travis Failey)

Tom Damico from Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful is flanked by drivers Gene and Paula Weeks (photo by Travis Failey)

KEEPTAMPABAYBEAUTIFUL.ORG

For more information, expanded results and the two future events in the Florida area, please see http://www.p1superstockusa.com/ and http://p1aquax.com/

(photo by Travis Failey)

(photo by Travis Failey)

(photo by Travis Failey)

(photo by Travis Failey)

JETS SKIS everywhere! (photo by Travis Failey)

JETS SKIS everywhere! (photo by Travis Failey)

(photo by Travis Failey)

(photo by Travis Failey)

 

 

 

 

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