Are you ready to see powerboats skip across the surface of the Intracoastal at speeds up to 175 mph? Well if you’re not, it’s time to get ready because the annual Stuart Sailfish Regatta is coming to the area this weekend and record crowds are expected to fill the beaches to watch the yearly extravaganza.
When this year’s Regatta kicks off Friday night with a VIP party, it will return to the shores of Stuart with a following and strong foothold in the international boat racing community.
Not only do the two days of races bring thousands of people out to see the boats skip across the water at 175 mph, it makes a lasting impact on the community as a whole.
Proceeds from the races are donated to the U.S. Sailing Center in Jensen Beach and the Children’s Museum of the Treasure Coast. Ancillary impacts are even more far reaching than that, said Sergio Nativi, past Regatta president and current treasurer.
Stuart Sailfish Regatta
When: Friday through Sunday. The VIP party in downtown Stuart begins at 7 p.m. on the Riverwalk stage. Racing is Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. Both days will run until about 4:30 p.m.
Admission: Tickets to the VIP party, which includes two drinks, appetizers and a boat racer meet-and-greet cost $75. Race day tickets cost $15 before the event for general admission ($20 at the gate) and $60 for Race Day VIP tickets, which include food, two complimentary drinks, live music, premium viewing locations for racing, and pit tours.
“We are expecting between 10,000 and 15,000 people to attend the event this year,” Nativi said. “The Marriott is sold out that weekend. Overall, the Regatta brings about a $2.2 million impact to this community.”
This year’s event will feature eight classes racing in heats on Saturday and finals on Sunday, including the Grand Prix class, which had 13 entries preregistered this year. The most Grand Prix boats — which are the fastest in the field — the Regatta has ever run is 10.
Stuart and the Treasure Coast is an water front paradise, located just 55 miles from the west end of the Bahamas. Known as the, “Sailfish Capital of the World,” by fishing enthusiasts, the Treasure Coast is world-renown for its laid back quality of life centered on beaches, boating, fishing and community.
Waterfront communities in the area, like Harbour Ridge, put an emphasis on that laid-back boater lifestyle and provide their residents with convenient boater amenities. Situated on the North Fork of the St. Lucie River, Harbour Ridge’s shoreline encompasses two miles of beautiful, pristine riverfront. Here, you’ll enjoy the best of both worlds with a secluded safe harbor for your vessel and with easy ocean access just minutes away.
Harbour Ridge is home to three private marinas with a combined 98 slips, ranging in size from 24 to 60 feet. For the non-boaters in the community, the estuary shoreline is also a haven for anglers, as the river is teeming with redfish, snook, tarpon and trout.
An abundance of shoreline and natural beauty keeps generations of families from around the globe calling Stuart home. Miles and miles of waterways invite exploration and adventure. Catch a glimpse of a Florida lobster or large snook swimming the reefs at Bathtub Beach. Share the shoreline with sea turtles and hatchlings, and watch the tarpon swimming along the beach just yards away.