History behind the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix

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SARASOTA – Fifty dollars and a lunch date is how the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix started 34 years ago.

One of the founders, Cal Erb, never expected it to grow into Sarasota’s premiere event.

“We thought we would do it a year or two and it would be over, didn’t work that way,” Erb said.

Growing from one boat race to a two-week event.All the money raised goes toward Suncoast Charities for Children, an organization that gives grants for those with special needs.

“I think we have 3,000 kids we treat, not all at one time, but 3,000 kids,” Erb added.

Every racer wants to end up on the podium, but no trophy overshadows the founders’ vision.

“It’s all about the kids,” Race Director, Steve Kildahl, said.

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Lynden Blake
Lynden Blake is an Auburn University graduate with a degree in journalism. As an aspiring sportscaster she has worked in many media outlets. She’s currently a news and sports reporter for Suncoast News Network in Sarasota, Florida. Previously she interned for Fox Sports Florida where she worked with the production team during Tampa Bay Rays games and freelanced for www.foxsports.com covering the Miami Heat during the 2015 NBA Summer League. She shadowed at WRBL News 3 in Columbus, Ga. her last semester in Auburn. Previously, she was a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc. and did many television and radio gigs for Sportz Blitz and AHSAA Radio Network. As a Tigerette at Auburn she hosted the nation’s top football prospects on game-day visits and official visits during the off season. She has always had passion for sports as she was a three-sport athlete in high school playing softball and basketball and cheering for Benjamin Russell High School.