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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