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Sarasota PowerBoat Grand Prix 2016

by Roger Pettingell

Sarasota Grand Prix Festival is this week

More excitement and block party added to annual event

Superboats make their way out to the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday
Superboats make their way out to the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday in the final round of races last year.

The Sarasota Music Festival ended on Saturday, on Sunday one of the largest festivals of the year began. The Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, now in its 32nd year, has changed in the past two years eliminating some events and replacing them with events that better fit the vision of the nine-day event production by Suncoast Charities for Children. Thousands flock to Sarasota for the excitement and festivities associated with powerboat racing. There are so many visitors that the economic impact is tremendous, pouring over $32 million into the local economy and generating nearly $443,000 in local and state taxes.

For the first time last year CBS Sports broadcast the racing live from coast to coast. This year the racing is sanctioned by sanctioned by Powerboat P1, USA Superstock P1 National Championship and AquaCross (AquaX). For two days Lido Beach becomes a haven for race fans on Saturday and Sunday to catch the best view of the action.

Also added this year is a downtown block party, “Boats on Main” on Friday from 6 to 11 p.m. featuring Luna Blue, a well-known central Florida classic rock band. This event replaces the power boat parade but visitors still have a good opportunity to meet the drivers earlier in the day on Friday from noon to 2 p.m. in the Hyatt Regency ballroom.

The festival actually began on Saturday with the Bob Rizi Memorial Golf Classic at Laurel Oak Country Club. On Sunday there was a car show in Lakewood Ranch, a shotgun start at Marina Jack that kicked off the watercraft fun run and a “Ride in the Park” motorcycle ride that benefited Suncoast Charities for Children. This is a non-profit organization that provides services for children through adults with special needs.

It picks back up tomorrow night on Tuesday with the festival kick-off party, “Grand Prix by the Sea”. Tickets can be purchased for $100 each online through noon on Tuesday with proceeds going to Suncoast Charities for Children. The party will be held at the Sarasota Yacht Club from 6 to 10 p.m. and feature the popular band, Kettle of Fish. There will be a 50/50 raffle and silent auction. The next public event is on Wednesday, “Fan Fest” from 5 to 9 p.m. at Fleming’s Steak House on Siesta Drive.

Qualifying races for the P1 SuperStock and AquaX divisions runs on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Sarasota event for P1 SuperStock racing is part of an international series that moves to Gosport in the United Kingdom on July 9-10. Two-man crews control 28-foot boats of 250 horsepower and higher and travel at speeds over 70 MPH on flat, open water. The AquaX series began in London in 2011 and features jet ski sprints of 10 minutes each and enduro races that put competitors together in three classes of 200 through 300 horsepower sit-down watercrafts. The finals for AquaX professional racers start at 9 a.m. on Sunday, followed by the amateurs at 9:45 a.m.

The powerboat Sarasota Invitational Classes of Unlimited, Super Cat, Super Vee, Pro Am 1, Pro Am 2, Cat Light and Super Vee Light powerboats have open practice on Saturday from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. The unlimited class may be the most exciting powerboat racing with speeds of 200 mph. The engines are the same as those that power Chinook military helicopters and throw rooster-tails as high as 300 feet. On Sunday the powerboats conduct their races starting at 11 a.m. and except for a brief intermission to refuel the helicopters, continue to 3:15 on Sunday. The SuperStock division completes all racing at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday.

The best viewing for all the races is on a stretch of land on the Lido Key beaches west shore. There are two concerns that the county addressed with ordinances. The first is the issue for the protection of nesting turtles. Therefore, police will be looking for glass bottles, pets at any time or walking on to the beach before sunrise and after sunset. Security is another issue. Unattended personal items will be confiscated and temporary canopies left overnight will not be permitted. Police will post signs with these holiday weekend restrictions. Online tickets are available for a special VIP race view from Sandcastle Resort on Lido Key, Saturday's VIP race view advance tickets are purchased here while Sunday's viewing are online through this ordering page.

Grand Prix Fireworks on Monday
Return to downtown Sarasota for the fireworks at Island Park on Monday.

The boats will enter Sarasota Bay through the Centennial Park boat ramp and cross over the bay to the Gulf through the New Pass inlet. At midnight on Thursday through 6 p.m. on Sunday Centennial Park will be closed for parking except those with special passes. Centennial Park is across the street from Publix on Tamiami Trail at 10th street. Boat traffic will be restricted at New Pass during race times.

Stay for the award presentations at 5 p.m. on Sunday at Centennial Park, then return Monday night for one of the area’s best fireworks displays from Island Park. Whatever your plans are for the holiday I wish you a safe and enjoyable weekend. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Hurricane Preparedness

by Roger Pettingell

Friday Seminar is a prelude to season

Forums to include FEMA, weather and Red Cross services

Loose Sailboat
Don't forget your boat - Batten down the hatches.

Although we have been fortunate to be out of the direct paths of hurricanes for many years, last year’s Hurricane Matthew sent a message to us that we should prepare for the season that officially begins next Thursday on June 1. The potential development of an El Niño effect should raise awareness for the possibility of a major storm.

In a Tropical Meteorology Project report issued by Colorado State University, 2017 is expected to have a lower level of activity with 11 named storms, four of those may develop into hurricanes. The cause for concern is that they included a one in four chance that one of those storms will hit Florida this year.

During the peak season from August to October it is expected that El Niño will weaken, but that may not be good news. Since El Niño refers to warmer ocean temperatures in the Pacific, the westerly winds it creates in the Atlantic has an opposite effect, reducing the chances of developing storms in our section of the planet. If they become strong during these peak months we could have an early end to the hurricane season. The expected weaker to moderate El Niño prolongs the season.

Preparedness is key for the keys

Longboat Key has had an initiative the last 14 years to provide its residents with the most up-to-date information on the subject. This year special guests headline their annual Disaster Preparedness Seminar this Friday in the Resort at Longboat Key Club, Harbourside Ballroom. Government programs, weather patterns and disaster relief forums will be led by Craig Fugate, Bob Harrigan and Steven Guetschow.

Craig is the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Florida Division of Emergency Management. As keynote speaker he will be able to best discuss the role of those two agencies in emergencies. A request for FEMA is initiated by the governor to act on any disaster that overwhelms the resources of the state. They can assist to provide communications, transportation, security and financial relief in times of a disaster.

Bob is a meteorologist with our local ABC affiliate on Channel 7 news. He has a nice ability to translate the complexities of the weather to an audience for understanding as to how they track and what may happen in a storm. Steven represents the American Red Cross, he is the acting disaster program manager for Southwest Florida. The Red Cross is instrumental in providing assistance to residents in times of a disaster. The three-hour seminar starts at 3:15 p.m. but reservations must be made by calling (941) 383-2466. There are special gifts for the first 125 to register for this free event.

Mike Mailliard of MIC Insurance shares some ideas on protecting your valuable assets in REALTALK™ #92.

In my REALTALKplus™ article June 20, 2016, I outlined more preparations for hurricanes. The information holds true for this year. In that article there is information on local shelters in Manatee and Sarasota counties. There is a link to my REALTALK™ #92 video, the second of a two-part series in which Mike Mailliard of MIC Insurance on Longboat Key discussed the steps that are necessary to ensure the safety of critical documents and 20 to 30 irreplaceable personal items.

There is information in that article on what to pack in times of an emergency. In all cases it may go without saying that your personal preparation for emergencies should not wait, they should be laid out well in advance. In times of a disaster, good preparation will be key to saving your heirlooms and possibly your life. You can start with a good communications plan, that may be the first to break in a storm.

Sarasota has links on its website for hurricane preparations which include what to do before a storm approaches to links for disaster relief if a storm destroys property. The Manatee County website has similar links and information on the history of hurricanes in Florida.

So, on November 1 we can all breathe a sigh of relief that we avoided a direct hit from a major storm or hurricane. The only hurricane we will have survived is the one that was poured in a glass with ice.

Longboat Key History

by Roger Pettingell

History of Longboat Key through poetry

Light and lively account by Mary Kay Ryan

Listing at 603 Longboat Club Road, #503
History of Longboat Key - Longboat Key Towers is mentioned in this poem where we have a listing.

Our director of customer care, Mary Kay Ryan, wrote us a poem describing the history of Longboat Key. It says a lot about the legacy that the founders left for us in a whimsical rhythm that I urge you to read. She is not new to poetry, as she once wrote poems for her business by a company named Poetry in Motion. You know her from the REALTALK™ series. Mary Kay even works in a reference to Longboat Key Towers, where we have a listing at 603 Longboat Club Rd, #503.


In the year of fifteen thirty-nine,
Hernando DeSoto spent some time,
Navigating waters near Sarasota Bay,
With his scout Juan Anasco guiding the way.

They came upon an island the Indians found
Evidenced by seeing many shell mounds.

This barrier island named Longboat Key,
Has a very interesting history.

Originally settled by Thomas Mann,
Who settled with family on the north end.

At the turn of the century, the land was sold,
And building began on this soil of gold.

A man named John Ringling’s vision swelled,
He began building a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

Located on the famed New Pass,
His grand building plans would not last.

With money gone, and resources few,
The hotel was torn down in 1962.

Another visionary of ALCOA fame,
Arthur Vining Davis was his name,
Would be next in line with a talented team,
And continued John Ringling’s development dream.

Longboat Key Towers was first out of the ground,
This piece of paradise soon would be found,
By snow bird and annual residents, too,
It took decades before building was through.

Today a Town and communities thrive,
Up and down Gulf of Mexico Drive.

The Bay to the East, and Gulf to the West,
Longboat Key is truly the best of the best.

I hope you have enjoyed this poem. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing of property or if you have real estate to sell or buy.


Sarasota Music Festival month

by Roger Pettingell

Music Festival celebrates 51 years

Month of June devoted to chamber music in Sarasota

Sarasota Opera House
Many of the events for the 2016 Sarasota Music Festival will be held at the Sarasota Opera House.

We love our festivals here in Sarasota. And when it involves an orchestra we support it generously. So when the Sarasota Music Festival begins this week you can be certain there will be an enthusiastic fan base in attendance. For the next three weeks you can expect performances of artist showcases, Friday Festivals, Saturday Symphonies and student recitals. These are internationally renowned artists who visit Sarasota to learn, teach and perform some of the best chamber music on the planet.

The festival is a program of the Sarasota Orchestra, now in its 51st year, begins today with Master classes that are open to the public. For the remainder of the Festival, 60 students are selected from hundreds who audition during the year attend and work with 40 masters, including some of the best alumni members attending previous festivals as students.

Three Thursdays of Artist Showcases

Thursdays the performances begin with an Artist Showcase, the first is this Thursday honoring a Festival faculty member, Joseph Silverstein, who passed away in November of last year. A violinist, he went on to become the Boston Symphony Concertmaster, a position he held for 22 years. Festival faculty will perform chamber works from Bach, Schubert, Dvorak and Brahm. This sold out performance begins at 4:30 in Holley Hall with a reception one hour before the music begins.

Tickets are still available for the following Thursday Artist Showcase, Magnus Opus. The Julliard School faculty member Timothy Eddy starts the program with a Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. He is followed by pianists Michael Adcock and Jonathan Spivey for a composition by Satie. Mozart’s Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major and Blanc’s Scherzo Tarentelle from Septet conclude the evening of music.

The third Artist Showcase celebrates the 90th birthday of Paul Wolfe, who founded the festival in 1965. The Artistic Director Laureate of the Festival is honored with an evening of six pieces beginning with Charles Neidich on clarinet and Nancy Goeres on bassoon performing Duo No. 1 in C Major from Beethoven. Some students will filter in for the evening that concludes with a Hommage a Paul Wolfe performed by violinist James Buswell and Robert Levin on piano. Levin has been the Festival artistic director for the past 10 years.

Friday Festivals with students and faculty together

Friday nights are reserved for three Friday Festivals, each that begins at 8 p.m. in the Opera House. This series features student and faculty performing together, the first of which is A Potpourri of Passions and includes two student ensembles. Other performances include Mozart’s String Quartet No. 5 in D Major, Les Citations by Duttilleux and the Piano Trio in G Minor by Smetana.

Seven pieces comprise the second Friday Festival on June 17, Contrast and Parallels. Throw in a Beatle tune Penny Lane and contrast that with Schuman’s difficult Piano Trio No. 2 in F Major, Levin plays the piano in both compositions to draw a parallel between the two. Performances by student ensembles, a Finale from Wind Quartet and Dvorak’s String Quintet in G Major round out the evening.

On the final Friday it is Back to the Future and includes two more Beatle selections, In My Life and She’s Leaving Home with Levin once again on piano with six other faculty members. Students filter in with Charles Wetherbee, violin for Beethoven’s String Quartet in F Major. The talents of Thomas Robertello on flute and James Buswell on violin will combine with one student on viola to perform Reger’s Serenade in G Major. Levin returns on piano for the finale, an energetic performance of Piano Quartet No. 2 in G Minor composed by Faure and includes violinist Buswell, Robert Vernon on viola and Brinton Smith on cello.

The best in chamber music, the Saturday Symphony

Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic and former Festival student Noah Bendix-Balgley combines with Larry Rachleff, conductor, Alexander Kerr, concertmaster and Australian soprano Susan Lorette Dunn for the first Saturday Symphony, Tour de Force. The program begins with a Brahms’s composition, with variations on a Haydn theme. Dunn takes the stage for Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne and concludes with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major. Saturday Symphonies begin at 8 p.m. in the Opera House.

Europe Meets America is the theme for the second Saturday Symphony with former Festival student and world renowned Moran Katz on clarinet as a featured artist for the evening. Katz performs Coplands’s Clarinet Concerto, which instills memories of a lost love. Hugh Wolff is the featured conductor and David Coucheron is the featured concertmaster June 18 that includes Haydn’s Symphony No. 86 in D Major and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A Major.

The Festival concludes on Saturday, June 25, with a salute to Mozart and Levin. Featured artists are Levin, Nicholas McGegan, conductor and Charles Wetherbee, concertmaster performing Concerto in F Major by Vilvadi, Symphony No. 6 in C Major by Schubert and Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor by Mozart performed by Levin.

Lectures and Sunday student recitals

The first two Sundays are reserved for Student Recitals starting at 3 p.m. in Holley Hall. These recitals are chamber music works selected by the students. Festival lectures by Levin the first two Festival Saturdays begin at 1 p.m. in Holley Hall.

The fine culture and arts draw many people who want to vacation and live in Sarasota. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4




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About Roger Pettingell

Roger Pettingell of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is your Longboat Key, Florida Luxury Real Estate Specialist. Roger provides his real estate expertise to sellers, investors, developers, and buyers in the Sarasota area including Anna Maria, Bird Key, Bradenton Beach, Casey Key, Cortez, Grand Bay, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, Marina Bay, Osprey and Siesta Key. Search for homes, luxury homes, condominiums, investment property, development property, and vacant land and lots on the Longboat Key, Florida and the surrounding area.