As the sun sets over the ocean at Key West after the 38th running of the Key West Powerboat Week last weekend there are doubts over who will promote this iconic event in the future.
Over the last 38 years the Key West event has held unique memories for many offshore enthusiasts whether as a competitor or spectator. Throughout the weeklong extravaganza the town is transformed into one big party event and Duval Street is packed bumper to bumper with powerboats and muscle cars. However, it looks likely that the much acclaimed Key West event may undergo some changes in the future as the 5 year contract for John and Deane Carbenell’s Superboat International (SBI) Key West Powerboat Week is up for renewal.
The hierarchy of Monroe County Tourism Development Council who distributes TDC cash would apparently prefer a Key West businessman to continue the promotion of the event and local man Larry Bleil, who heads up Key West based Race World Offshore, has every intention of bringing the Key West World Championship event under his umbrella. Bleil states, “Come hell or high water, Key West will be a Race World Offshore event”.
A very brave statement and only time will tell whether Larry Bleil of Race World Offshore or John Carbonell’s SBI is successful in renewing another 5 year’s contract for the annual event.