Countdown to Key West: Can’t-Miss Parties

Throwing a party during the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., is a bit like—as the saying goes—bringing sand to the beach. The entire place, especially Duval Street every night during the annual SBI Key West Worlds, is a party. That said, there are a couple of noteworthy shindigs open to all offshore racing and performance boating fans who will be on hand for the weeklong event. Here’s a quick look at the schedule so far.

Hammer Down Boating Party
Wednesday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m. till closing
Rick’s Bar, 201 Duval Street

Rick’s Bar really isn’t a bar—it’s eight bars with a pizza joint, as well as other assorted temptations. So for good reason, Hammer Down Boating, a popular fan page on Facebook, decided to host its first blowout—dubbed “I Got Hammered Down In Key West” on their promotional flyer—at the joint. With several offshore racing teams scheduled to attend (and no race the following day), a “Tattoo Placement Contest” (mercifully, according to the flyer, “limited to females 18 years and older”) and gear giveaways, this one is shaping up to be blowout. News of the party on the Hammer Down Boating Facebook page has already reaped 2,500 likes for the site.


By design, the Party will share Duval Street with the annual SBI Key West Worlds Boat Parade. Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image Party
Friday, Nov. 7, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
BurgerFi Restaurant, 221 Duval Street

Think of the Party, which we’re co-hosting for the second year in a row—thank you Gino Gargiulo and John Rosatti—with BurgerFi Restaurant as a pre-party/launching event for the rest of Friday evening, which starts with the annual SBI Raceboat Parade. On The Water digital magazine co-publisher Jason Johnson and I are looking forward to hanging out with our friends from the industry and consumer sides of the high-performance powerboat world and maybe even making a few new ones. Live entertainment courtesy of one of Key West’s top DJs, drink specials, food specials and more are just a few parts of this year’s party package. Plus, we have a few surprises in store—we’re not done planning yet.

While our friends at aren’t planning any sort of formal sponsored party for Key West—they’re saving their energy and working on topping themselves for their third annual celebration at 2015 Miami International Boat Show next year—they will have a booth in the Florida Powerboat Club’s Poker Run Village adjacent to the Conch Republic Seafood Company (631 Greene Street). Brad Schoenwald, who heads the popular content and community website, said they will be hosting a welcome reception at the booth for the poker runners and others as they arrive at the nearby docks during the late afternoon and early evening on Thursday, Nov. 6, as well as the Florida Powerboat Club’s Key West Poker Run Awards ceremony at the Hardin Marine trailer Saturday night.

As for the Florida Powerboat Club’s annual dinner at the Conch Republic that evening, it’s reported to be a great event but only open to poker run participants.

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Complete 2014 Key West Coverage