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    Red tide won't impact Clearwater boat races this weeken
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    CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) - National championship boat races will go on in Clearwater Beach this weekend although there are traces of red tide in the area.

    "This beach will be packed and open for business," said race organizer Frank Chivas.

    Hundreds will flock to The Hooters Clearwater Super Boat National Championship races taking place Saturday.

    Spectators don't want to see dead fish.

    Red tide continues to impact beach communities in parts of Pinellas County.

    Race officials said the water is good on the beach.

    "You can walk the beach now. You won't see any fish," said Chivas.

    Race organizers and city leaders said they've been preparing for red tide since August.

    Clean up crews are on the beach three times a day.

    "They look for odors. They look for any fish kills or anything like that," said Jason Beisel, City of Clearwater spokesman.

    The race is expected to bring in millions of tourism dollars, but not for Lindsey Sager, whose shop is five miles south in Indian Rocks Beach.

    "We haven't had nearly as many rentals this time of year," said Sager, manager of Nekton Surf Shop.

    Sager said red tide remains a threat.

    "I've never seen it so affected by what's going on on the beaches right now. People can't ride bikes on the beach when they can't breathe," she said.

    She's had to refund several parties.

    "I had someone last week that rented a skim board for an entire week and brought it back and never got to use it," said Sager.

    Sager blames state leaders.

    "It's definitely hurting. It's hurting all of the local businesses and somebody's responsible," she said.

    County sampling on Wednesday showed high concentrations of Karenia brevis at Madeira Beach, Redington Beach and Indian Rocks Beach.

    Concentrations ranged between 1.5 million to nearly 16 million cells per liter.

    Pinellas County Environmental Management reports that as of Wednesday, about 738 tons of red tide debris has been collected.
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    Clearwater Beach clear of red tide for Super Boat races, organizers say
    By Katie Jones

    CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. — More than 50,000 people will pack Clearwater Beach this weekend for the 10th annual Clearwater Super Boat National Championship.

    It’s an event that brings in adrenaline junkies from around the world. This year, however, many prospective visitors may be concerned about the red tide crisis plaguing many Bay Area beaches.

    Thankfully, right now Clearwater, looks great.

    Crews will monitor situation throughout the weekend

    "Clearwater Beach is clean, it's clear, and it's open for business," race co-founder Brian Aungst said.

    Race organizers and city crews want visitors to enjoy the weekend without worry. They’ve been out on the beach day and night monitoring conditions and cleaning up any dead fish.

    "We make sure they go three to four times a day," said City of Clearwater and Clearwater Beach spokesman Jason Beisel. "They walk the beach, they check the beach, they look for discolored water, they look for odors, fish kills.”

    City and county crews are making sure the beaches are beautiful for an event that will bring a significant economic boost during one of the slowest times of the season.

    "Pinellas County stepped up and they hired shrimp boats to come scoop up fish along the coast," race co-founder Frank Chivas said.

    City crews will be on the beach throughout the weekend monitoring conditions. Officials said there will also be medical crews on site in case any visitors experience respiratory issues.

    The want visitors to know it is safe to eat seafood at local restaurants.

    For more information on the Clearwater Super Boat National Championship, visit
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