VIP passes include complimentary beer, wine and food
By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- Five days of offshore power-boat racing will hit the Space Coast May 15-19 during the fourth annual "Thunder on Cocoa Beach: The Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix."
Sunday, May 19, is race day at the Cocoa Beach Pier, Alan Shepard Park and Lori Wilson Park. Organizers said the boats will launch from the pits next to the Bluepoints Marina in Port Canaveral.
The start and finish line are offshore from Alan Shepard Park at the end of State Road 520.
Organizers said the races are run in two heats. Race one begins at noon, and race two follows afterward at 1:30 p.m.
Before the race, several VIP events are scheduled to help guests get into the racing spirit.
"We're expecting this year's (event) to be bigger and better than ever," said Kerry Bartlett, race director. "We've got more boats lined up than last year and have added some awesome new perks for our VIP Pass holders."
New perks for VIP Pass holders include premium race viewing at the Cocoa Beach Pier, Lori Wilson Park and Alan Shepard Park. Each premium viewing area includes its own VIP hospitality tent, serving complimentary food, beer, wine and soft drinks, as well as tiered seating, so guests won't miss any of the races.
Organizers said the race weekend begins on Wednesday, May 15, with an early VIP Sponsor Party at Juice N' Java Café in Downtown Cocoa Beach from 6 to 11 p.m. Along with live music, guests can enjoy complimentary food, beer, wine and soft drinks.
Other events and activities will continue throughout the weekend.
A preview of the race will also take place on Saturday, May 18, from noon to 5 p.m. from the Wet Hot Pits, next to Bluepoints Marina in Port Canaveral to Jetty Park, as each racer performs test runs. Organizers said the best place to view the boats during their test runs is from the decks of any of the restaurants in the Port, including Milliken's Reef, Baja Tavern & Eats, Rusty's Seafood & Oyster Bar, Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill and Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar.
The weekend will conclude with an award's ceremony at Port Canaveral on Sunday, as well as a race after party at Mambo's at the International Palms Hotel in Cocoa Beach, featuring a performance from Jamaikin Me Crazy from 4-10 p.m.
For more information, visit www.ThunderOnCocoaBeach.com.
All races are sanctioned by Super Boat International. For more information, visit www.superboat.com
The full schedule of events is as follows:
Thursday, May 16
3-11 p.m.: Power Boats on Parade at The Cove, Port Canaveral
Food and drinks; meet the race team
Friday, May 17
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Power Boats and Race Teams in Dry Pits at Race Village, Flounder Drive
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Registration at Race Village, Flounder Drive
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Inspections at Race Village, Flounder Drive
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Press Credentials at Race Village
Noon to 5 p.m.: Dunkers, TBA
3-11 p.m.: Cocoa Beach Street Party "Meet the Racers"
6-10 p.m.: VIP Party/Meet the Racers at Coconut's on the Beach, Cocoa Beach
Saturday, May 18
8:30 a.m.: Mandatory Drivers' Meeting at Fishlips Downstairs, 610 Glen Cheek Dr.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Powerboats and Race Teams in dry pits: Race Village on Flounder Drive
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Registration at Race Village
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Inspection at Race Village
Noon to 4 p.m.: Launching at Bluepoints Marina
Noon to 5 p.m.: Testing, as per SBIP rulebook
Noon to 10 p.m.: Live Music at The Cove
7 p.m.: Bikini Contest at The Cove
6-10 p.m.: VIP Party: Meet the Racers at The Cove
Sunday, May 19
7:30-8:30 a.m.: Physicals: Fishlips Downstairs
8-9 a.m.: Press Credentials at Race Village, Flounder Drive
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Launching at Bluepoints Marina
8:30 am.: Mandatory Drivers' Meeting: Fishlips Waterfront Bar downstairs
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Powerboats in dry pits at Race Village
10 a.m. FAA Pilots Briefing: Merritt Island Airport, 900 Airport Road
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: VIP Hospitality Tent at The Pier
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: VIP Hospitality Tent at Lori Wilson
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: VIP Hospitality Tent at Shepard Park
11:30 a.m.: Boats of first race proceed to milling area: Cocoa Beach
Noon: Start of first race
1:30 p.m.: Boats of second race proceed to milling area, Cocoa Beach
2 p.m.: Start of second race
5 p.m.: Awards Presentation: The Cove