KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Fans of adrenaline, speed and skill on the water have gathered in Key West, one of the globe’s top venues for offshore powerboat racing, through Nov. 12 to crown the world’s top teams.
The Race World Offshore World Championship, presented by Performance Boat Center, is a world sanctioned event of both the American Power Boat Association and Union Internationale Motonautique.
Events kicked off Sunday, Nov. 5, with the “World’s Fastest Boat Parade” down Key West’s historic Duval Street.
The action intensifies throughout the week, with leading American and international teams competing in high-speed races Wednesday, Nov. 8; Friday, Nov. 10; and Sunday, Nov. 12. Races are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on all three days.
Event organizers are predicting a field of around 70 boats, ranging from bracket-class contenders to catamarans over 45 feet long that can reach speeds up to 160 mph.
A portion of the challenging 4.4-mile-per-lap course runs through Key West Harbor, meaning smooth water where racers can achieve breathtaking speeds and fans can watch from vantage points that are extraordinarily close to the action.
Varying water conditions along the course afford race teams the chance to test both equipment endurance and hull and propulsion design during the season-ending championship series.
On race days, spectators can get an unmatched view from areas at the Truman Waterfront Race Village and adjacent “Outer Mole” pier. Other popular viewing areas include restaurants and bars at harborfront hotels, as well as Key West’s Mallory Square.
On non-race days, enthusiasts can view the boats, watch in-water testing runs and mingle with competitors and crews at the race village.
The world championship awards are to be presented late Sunday afternoon at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater in Truman Waterfront Park.
As well as the pulse-pounding racing action, a variety of social events are scheduled including Friday night’s block party for racers and fans on Duval and Greene streets and Saturday’s wacky boat-building contest in Truman Waterfront Park.
Music fans can enjoy a Saturday-night concert starring Sam Carlson, Cliff Cody, the Wolf Love Band and the Key West Kings. The show is to be held at the amphitheater, with both general admission and exclusive VIP tickets available at fastboatsandboots.com.
Race-day general admission tickets are to be available on-site at Truman Waterfront Park. All-inclusive VIP spectator passes for the Outer Mole grandstands and hospitality tent, including water shuttle service, are available at raceworldoffshore.com/shop/outer-mole-vip/.
Event information: raceworldoffshore.com/key-west/
Offshore powerboat racing entries cross the start line on the final day of racing during the 2022 championships in Key West. Photo: Rob O'Neal
Offshore powerboat race boats cross the start line during the first day of competition in 2022. Photo: Rob O'Neal
Spectators in private boats watch from a safe zone during the 2022 powerboat race competition in Key West. Photo: Rob' O'Neal