7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix to Speed into Marathon April 28-30
MARATHON, Florida Keys — Powerful offshore boats racing at high speeds near the world-famous Seven Mile Bridge are to show their muscle when the 7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix speeds into the Middle Keys Friday through Sunday, April 28-30.
The contest is the first powerboat race to take place in Marathon since 2016 and serves as the opening event for Race World Offshore’s 2023 season, with race teams coming from around the United States and as far away as Australia and the United Kingdom.
Twelve classes of boats are to participate in the challenge with the largest classes racing Sunday — including the Super Cat that can achieve speeds of up to 140 mph — on a course that provides spectators an adrenaline-inducing close-up viewing experience.
A free-admission opening event is to welcome race teams and fans Friday evening from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters, 11710 Overseas Highway.
Races are to take place Saturday with the smaller class vessel race brackets taking to the water from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday is to feature four races beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending with the 3 p.m. Super Cat competition.
The pedestrian-friendly Old Seven Mile Bridge is to be the primary viewing area for spectators, with 90 percent of the 5.6-mile counterclockwise racecourse viewable from the span that parallels the contemporary bridge. According to race organizers, the old bridge will be open to the public with free admission, with one section reserved for VIP viewing.
Race World Offshore plans to set up its VIP hospitality areas on and below the Old Seven Mile bridge. VIP guests will be allowed to park at Sunset Grille, 7 Knights Key Blvd., and walk under the bridge.
Race fans can enjoy free admission to the dry pit areas to view the high-speed boats and meet the race teams and crew from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The two dry pit locations are at the south end of Marathon International Airport and San Pablo Catholic Church.
The wet pits are to be located at the marina docks behind the host hotel, Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club, 1996 Overseas Highway. Wet pits are to be open to the public Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The resort is open for food, beverages and race viewing during the weekend.
With limited parking at the race site, shuttle service is to be available from Marathon Community Park to Sunset Grille.
Events culminate Sunday evening with an awards ceremony, the presentation of the Conch Republic Cup and an after party at host hotel Faro Blanco Resort.
Race schedules, VIP tickets and information: raceworldoffshore.com/marathon
Powerboats will roar into Marathon for the 7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix April 28-30. Photo: Rob O'Neal
The first powerboat race to take place in Marathon since 2016, the race is to provide spectators an adrenalin-inducing close-up viewing experience. Photo: Rob O'Neal
The pedestrian-friendly Old Seven Mile Bridge is to be the primary viewing area for spectators with free admission. Photo: Andy Newman