a group of people standing in front of a boat
Teams wait for their turn on the crane at the 2023 Seven Mile Grand Prix. BARRY GAUKEL/Keys Weekly

Bumpy conditions are once again in the forecast as high-octane race teams gear up for the revitalized 2024 Seven Mile Grand Prix this weekend.

Races set for Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28 will pit the fastest boats on the water – think up to 140 mph – against one another on a 5.6-mile nearshore course that parallels the Old Seven Mile Bridge to kick off the American Power Boat Association’s Offshore National Championship Series.

Events around town and on the water will provide a comprehensive spectator experience for guests. Here’s what you need to know:


The primary viewing area is on the Old Seven Mile Bridge, but spectators may be able to see some parts of the races from the western gulfside edge of Marathon as shown in the course map. Reserved VIP areas will be sectioned off on portions of Old Seven as well as the park at the base of the bridge. 


Spectator vessels are welcome in the designated areas marked in the course map. The area around the race course and under the east end of the Seven Mile Bridge is closed to vessel traffic throughout Saturday and Sunday. The area will temporarily open to boat traffic from noon to 1:30 p.m. each day.

An illustration of the course map shows its run along the Old Seven Mile Bridge. Note the designated areas for spectator vessels and areas closed to vessel traffic. RACE WORLD OFFSHORE/Contributed


Viewing the races from the Old Seven Mile Bridge is FREE

Two-day VIP packages are available for $300 and include designated seating near the water’s edge at the foot of the Seven Mile Bridge and on top of the bridge, admission to special events throughout the weekend, and special parking. More details are at


Offshore testing will take place from 10 a.m. to noon and 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Saturday’s races are scheduled to run from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday’s races, including several classes of larger boats, will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For a full schedule, including individual class races, visit


Fans may visit boats and their race crews from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday, at the dry pit locations at San Pablo Catholic Church. Wet pits are located at Faro Blanco Marina and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Reaching speeds of up to 140 mph, multiple classes of boats, including the famed Super Cat racers, will battle for top honors this weekend. BARRY GAUKEL/Keys Weekly


Parking for spectators is available at Marathon Community Park. The Pigeon Key train will run every 15 minutes from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday to deliver spectators from the park to Sunset Grille, where they can walk to the bridge. VIP guests may park at Sunset Grille. Please note that there is no general-admission parking at Sunset Grille, the entrance to the Old Seven Mile Bridge, or on the side of U.S. 1 leading to the bridge.


Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters will host a welcome party for racers and fans from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26. An awards ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 28 at Sunset Grille.


Due to the races, the 33rd Street boat ramp will be closed on April 27 and 28. 


Alex Rickert
Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.