As usual, the powerboat races are coming to Key West in early November. But the Super Boat International races are also coming back to Marathon after an absence of many years. SBI and the Conch Republic Offshore Powerboat Racing Association have planned a 4th of July weekend event in 2015.

“It’s our tradition to race on that weekend and it’s what our race teams and fans want,” said John Carbonell of Super Boat International, adding it was a natural choice when the SBI race in Sarasota scheduled for the same weekend was cancelled. “Boat racing on 4thof July is true Americana like baseball, apple pie and fireworks.”

In the late ‘80s, powerboat racing was one of the main events in Marathon and race headquarters was located at the old Faro Blanco Resort. Now, in 2015, the powerboat races are back and race headquarters will be in the same spot — at the new Hyatt Place in Marathon.

“It’s come full circle,” said City of Marathon manager Mike Puto. In the late ‘80s, Puto was the mayor of Monroe County and, by default, the chairman of the Tourist Development Council. Now, he’ll be involved again, making sure everything runs smoothly.

“The Spottswoods and so many other people have worked hard to rejuvenate properties in Marathon and the surrounding area,” Puto said.

Both GEICO and STIHL teams have confirmed they will attend the 2015 race in Marathon.

“We are excited to race in Marathon. I’ve raced there before under the SBI name and we are really looking forward to going back,” said JR Noble, 2014 National Super Boat Champion with Team STIHL.

One thing that’s sure to change is the viewing. Other than a few race officials, viewing from the old 7 Mile Bridge will be prohibited. Spectators will be encouraged to find a spot at Hyatt Place, and Sunset Park on the gulfside or Sunset Grille and surrounding waterfront on the Oceanside.

“And, of course, from their boats. People bring their boats out and anchor to watch the races,” Puto said.

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Editor Sara Matthis thinks community journalism is important, but not serious; likes small and weird children (she has two); prefers target practice with a zombie rat poster; and looks best with saltwater dreads. Occasionally she tortures herself with sprint-distance triathlons, but only if she has a good chance of beating her sister.

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