Libbys on the Loose:2 Humans. 2 Great Danes. 1 RV.: Thunder on Cocoa Beach 2015: Space Coast Grand Prix

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Thunder on Cocoa Beach 2015: Space Coast Grand Prix

So this was a much unexpected weekend.  We had originally planned on going to Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, AL, but had to change our plans last minute.  Not that it was a difficult decision to make;  Thunder on Cocoa Beach is always a great time (this was our third year participating as sponsors).  100+ mph speedboats running offshore on Cocoa Beach draws a huge crowd and is a great addition to the many events on the Space Coast.  Sponsors included:  Ocean Potion, Geico, Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill, Cocoa Beach Pier, Juice N Java Cafe9 Mile Media, Port Scooters, Carl's Van Rentals, Florida Biplanes and Helicopters, as well as many other Brevard County and national organizations.

Miss Geico
The festivities kicked off at the Cocoa Beach Hilton's new Tiki Bar.  Racers had just started coming in - and of course, the Miss Geico boat was parked right out front in all her glory!  What a beautiful safety yellow color!  We had the opportunity to meet the "Who's Who" of Superboat International racing.  While face-melting speeds in a boat might not be everyone's forté, it is a pretty neat thing to be able to experience.  While many people think that it's just a "bunch of super-rich people comparing egos on the water", most of the racers contribute a large amount of their winnings to various charitable organizations, so it while that statement isn't completely wrong, it's nice to see that these guys like to give back, too, especially considering the bad rap!

Thursday's party was at Juice N Java Cafe in downtown Cocoa Beach. Proprietors hosted the event and provided food and beverage for all of the VIP and Sponsor guests. Most of the boats in the Manufacturer P4 category (smaller boats) and promotional vehicles were packed in to Juice N Java's parking lot and into the adjacent overflow lot.

JJ Turk and his "No Vacancy" speed boat
Friday night brought much of the same festivities except with an escorted ride to the downtown street party from the port.  And of course, we just had to ride the scooters in the parade!  The convoy of boats, sponsors' vehicles, and people just out to show off their wares, creeped the few miles from Port Canaveral to downtown Cocoa Beach passing thousands of local supporters, tourists, and Superboat racing fans.  The Friday night street party carried on until about 10pm.  Post-Juice N Java, we joined some friends for drinks at one of our favorite spots in the Cocoa Beach area, Preacher Bar.  Don't let the name fool you,  this place has the best beer selection in town - with great food to boot.  Owned by the same as Kelsey's Pizza, also with great food, but more Italian-style (did the name give it away?!). Preacher Bar boasts one of the best menus for what we call southern-soul modern comfort food. Check out the menu and tell us what you think.  If you make plans to be anywhere near Cape Canaveral, it's truly worth the stop, not just for the beer selection and food - the staff have very unique uniforms.  You'll have to visit to find out!

Saturday was spent in the dry pits mingling with the drivers and crew and checking out the bigger boats.  Miss Geico, CMS Marine, and many of the larger boats stole the show with their full rigs complete with kitchens (and one had a theater in the trailer!) and full of all of the creature comforts of home - these guys truly "rough" it!  The other cool thing that we got to experience on Saturday was the "splashing" of the boats into the water for their time trials.  Since these boats are both not on normal trailers, and are very specialized, they require a certain finesse to get them into the water without damage.  Finesse for these guys comes in the form of a huge crane!  Lifting the boats off the trailers and setting them in the water is a little nerve-wracking just to watch from the perspective of a spectator - can't imagine having to watch that every time my multi-million dollar boat got put in the water.

Saturday night was the party in the dry pits.  Live music, great food variety, and plenty of beautiful people walking about and imbibing.  Imbibition was definitely the correct word for Saturday night!  Between Fishlips, Grills, Rusty's and Milliken's Reef, there were no shortages of "watering holes" to keep the drinks flowing for the duration of the night, despite the fact that we didn't make it much past 10pm.  For the amount of time that we spent preparing for the events, participating in the events, then helping out with the after-event cleanup, etc, we were already pretty spent.  Sunday, the big race day, was waiting for us, so we turned in and got our full eight hours!

Jeanine is looking all cute and ready to take to the skies!
The first race was scheduled to run at noon Sunday.  After a little bit of a late start for the race, things got moving pretty quickly.  Jeanine and I had VIP tickets, so we planned on hanging out at the VIP tents at Lori Wilson Park and watching from the beach.  Little did we know, there was a surprise in store for us!  At about 12:45 (30 minutes prior to the start of the second race), I received a phone call from a close friend asking if we wanted to watch the race from a little different vantage point. Without disclosing all the details, we went as instructed to the Victory Casino parking lot in Port Canaveral.  We were met by a helicopter pilot and a gentleman that was in charge of watching for manatees and sea turtles.  They just happened to have two extra seats in their chopper with our names on them!  Not only was this only our second boat race experience, but this would be our first experience watching the races from the sky!  Enjoy the photos that we were able to capture on our ride by scrolling below.  A special thanks to Florida Biplanes and Helicopters for taking us on the ride as well as another special thanks to 9 Mile Media for allowing us to take their seats for the second race - it was truly an amazing experience!!!

Cocoa Beach just north of Alan Shepard Park

World's Largest 4x4

Disclaimer: We are not paid writers, neither for our writing or our opinions. We represent our experiences with products, services, etc, with 100% accuracy and give our unbiased feedback.

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