While the annual Sarasota Offshore Suncoast Grand Prix—typically one of the strongest stops on the Super Boat International offshore racing circuit—will celebrate its 30th anniversary next July, its organizers have removed the venue from consideration for hosting the SBI Offshore World Championships in 2014. According to Lucy Nicandri, the vice president of Suncoast Charities for Children and one of the key people behind the historic Florida Gulf Coast event, the decision was made shortly after the SBI Key West Offshore World Championships earlier this month.
“About a year-and-a-half ago, we did ask SBI to be considered as a location for the 2014 World Championships,” Nicandri said. “At the time, there were reports of some construction in the Keys that could disrupt the event and I told them, ‘If you ever want to leave Key West, we would like the opportunity to put our name in there for consideration.’ We didn’t hear anything back from SBI then.
“Then in Clearwater (Fla.) during the SBI Nationals we heard, ‘Clearwater is getting the Worlds,'” she continued. “I emailed SBI and said I would like revisit to Sarasota as a possible site, but never really had a meeting or anything like that.”
After personally attending the Key West event, Nicandri returned to Sarasota, and with the board of directors for the Suncoast Charities for Children reached a decision to withdraw the site from consideration as a 2014 SBI World Championships host.
“It would be great to host the worlds, but we would have to give up our summer date,” she explained. “Unlike other sites, a charity runs this race and we have make to sure that our investment goes back into the nonprofit. This is one of many events we do during the year. As a business decision, going on what we know now, we decided that it would probably be best to focus on our 30th anniversary event. For our race site, we are putting all of our efforts into having our strongest year ever.”
(Photo courtesy Andy Neumann/TPC)