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    2018 Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix
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    Friday - June 29

    “MEET & GREET WHO’S IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT” RACE TEAM AUTOGRAPH SIGNING EVENT
    HYATT REGENCY BALLROOM
    1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, Florida 34236
    2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Adults- $5.00 Donation/18 & Under - Free

    "BOATS BY THE BAY" PARTY IN THE PITS
    VAN WEZEL PARKING LOT
    777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida 34236
    6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m
    Free Admission/Open to the public No Coolers Allowed

    MISS POWERBOAT P1 SWIMSUIT CONTEST
    VAN WEZEL PARKING LOT
    777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida 34236
    6:30 pm - 10:30 pm
    (Free Admission/Open to the public) - Please No coolers allowed

    Saturday - June 30

    FINZ FINDS "COASTAL CRUISE" MOTORCYCLE CHARITY RIDE
    ROSSITER'S HARLEY-DAVIDSON
    330 Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota, Florida 34232
    Registration 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m
    $10 per rider $5 per passenger

    GRAND PRIX "FAN FEST"
    VAN WEZEL PARKING LOT
    777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida 34236
    10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    (Free Admission/Open to the public) - Please No coolers allowed

    SUPERSTOCK, PRODUCTION CLASS,& PERSONAL WATERCRAFT RACES
    LIDO BEACH
    400 Benjamin Franklin Dr, Sarasota, Florida 34236
    9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Lido Beach Best Viewing (Free Admission/Open to the public)


    Sunday - July 1

    GRAND PRIX "FAN FEST"
    VAN WEZEL PARKING LOT
    777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida 34236
    10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    (Free Admission/Open to the public)

    POWERBOAT RACES
    LIDO BEACH
    400 Benjamin Franklin Dr, Sarasota, Florida 34236
    10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Lido Beach Best Viewing (Free Admission/Open to the public)

    VIP RACE VIEWING (SUNDAY)
    SANDCASTLE RESORT AT LIDO BEACH
    1540 Benjamin Franklin Drive, Sarasota, Florida 34236
    10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


    RACE TEAM AWARD PRESENTATIONS
    VAN WEZEL PARKING LOT
    777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida 34236
    Approx. 5:30 p.m.
    (Free Admission/Open to the public)
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    Powerboat Racing is family affair for Kildahls at Sarasota Grand Prix
    For all Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix coverage and photos galleries, go to
    www.heraldtribune.com/grandprix

    Steve Kildahl has raced in Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix with his son, Stephen, for past 12 years.

    His dream growing up was to race boats with his brother, but a diving accident sank that dream.

    Instead, he races boats with his son.

    Steve Kildahl, 60, was born and raised in Sarasota, where he has participated in every Sarasota Grand Prix since the event began in 1985. Now, in the 34th year of the annual maritime showcase, he will throttle for his 30-foot Boatlover.com vessel while his son, Stephen, drives at speeds of up to 96 miles per hour — just as they have for the past 12 years.

    “It’s the best thing in the world,” Steven said. “I’ve raced with a lot of people over the years, but it’s always special to be able to race with your son.”

    His brother, Scott, was paralyzed in a diving accident before they could ever share a boat in competition — though, they spent much of their childhood out on the water together. Their father owned a fishing boat, and their grandfather loved taking them fishing.

    Scott died shortly after being paralyzed.

    Steve remembers sitting at the old Boathouse restaurant at the Hyatt with some of his buddies — it was a regular spot for boaters on a Friday — and deciding to name his newly formed race company after his brother.

    Scott Free Racing was born.

    Childhood dream realized.


    In 1985, Scott Free Racing entered into the inaugural Sarasota Grand Prix. Thirty-plus years later, it’s still going strong.

    But for Steve Kildahl, nothing comes close to being out on the water.

    Occasionally, people will ask him why he keeps racing at his age, and if he’ll ever hang it up.

    “It’s the love of the sport. It’s just an adrenaline rush,” he said. “As long as I’m still enjoying doing it and not endangering my son or anyone on the race course, I’ll keep on doing it for as long as my body can physically do it.”

    Steve says it takes a lot of effort to work well together as a driver and a throttle man. There’s an intercom on the boat, but there isn’t a lot of talk that goes on between him and Stephen when they’re on the water. They’ve raced together for so long that they think alike and can almost predict what’s going to happen in the cockpit.

    They’ve won the competition, which Steve calls the Indy 500 of boat racing, for the past two years in the Super Boat Vee class — as well as many other times. Ask Steve how many times he’s won big competitions, and it’s clear he’s lost count.

    Easy to do when you’ve had the run that they’ve had.

    According to their website, the Kildahls are three-time world champions, two-time national champions and hold two world speed records, as well as endurance records.

    When he’s not racing, the Sarasota High School graduate owns a boat repair company called Central Marine Service. He hasn’t had to close the shop to repair one of his own race boats in a while — but when a race is coming up, all bets are off.

    Racing is definitely a family affair in the Kildahl household. Steve’s wife, Kim, is heavily involved in the team, and they say there’s a ton of prep work involved that most people have no idea about.

    As race director for the Grand Prix this year, Steve, with Kim’s help, has been in constant contact with racers, trying to get them to come down and compete, while going through every type of logistic imaginable.
    It’s a lot of work.

    But according to Steve, it’s also a lot of fun. After all, it’s a childhood dream.

    Scott’s still racing free after all these years.

    The 34th Annual HotelPlanner Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival takes place through July 4, with race days on June 30 and July 1 off Lido Beach.


    http://www.heraldtribune.com/enterta...ota-grand-prix
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