The 2014 offshore Super Boat racing season was kicked off on Friday Aprill 11th, here on Manasota Key. After a parade through the streets of Punta Gorda, the super boats found their way to the festival site on Englewood Beach.
At the wannaB inn, we have a full house of vacationers, race fans and media. All here to enjoy the excitement of super boat racing.
Safety is paramount to these racers, and David Harshfield, who heads up the Dive Rescue team, and his crew conducted “Dunk Testing” in the Sea Star pool on Friday and Saturday. The safety team consists of firefighters, paramedics, EMTs and divers. In these mandatory tests, the driver is strapped into a device which simulates a boat cockpit. He is given an oxygen supply, and instructions on how to escape the boat safely should they capsize. The device is then tipped upside down, and as the driver follows the directions he has been given, he exits the “cockpit” safely. A small crowd of guests gathered to watch and listen as the super boat teams went through the dunking.
In the photo to the right, Richard "Wheels" Bieluwka, Throttle of the boat "Rolling Vengeance" prepares for his dunk test.
At the wannaB inn, we were proud to be able to assist the Rescue Team, by providing them a boat slip. David Harschfield is shown here with his boat, "Huntress" just after launching her from our ramp.
All day Saturday, boats of all sizes paraded through the beautiful "no wake" stretch of Ski Alley toward Stump Pass, and guests had a front row seat. Super Boats and recreational boaters filled the Alley, as the Super Boats made their way to the off shore area for their timed trials.
It was a beautiful sunny day, with gentle breezes, and the wannaB guests enjoyed the excitement on both sides of our beautiful Manasota Key.