POWERBOAT TROPHY HONORS CRAIG CATES

Larry Bleil, left, owner and president of Race World Offshore, unveils the Cates Cup Wednesday in honor of Craig Cates, right. MANDY MILES/Keys Weekly

Key West’s powerful powerboat history now has a place of honor and distinction at the Key West International Airport, where the Cates Cup championship trophy was unveiled on July 13.

The large silver cup is named for Craig Cates, a current county commissioner, former Key West mayor and longtime powerboat racer.

“This is such an honor for my family and me,” Cates said. “This really means a great deal.”

Larry Bleil, owner and president of Race World Offshore, which produces the November powerboat races in Key West, worked with Airports Director Richard Strickland, who offered a display space for the trophy. Each year’s winner of the Key West championship will be added to the trophy, Bleil said.

“The Cates Cup is awarded to a World Championship race team that embodies the ideals of competitive excellence, team spirit and true sportsmanship,” reads the plaque on the base of the trophy. “This cup is presented annually by Race World Offshore, the premier offshore powerboat racing sanctioning body, based in Key West, Florida.

“This perpetuating award is in honor of Craig Cates and his family. Cates is a powerboat racer, husband, father, mayor, commissioner and an example of greatness. The Cates Cup will remain in Key West and be on rotating display with those who support Race World Offshore, their sponsors, the Cates family and other members of the offshore racing community.”

County administrator Roman Gastesi and Strickland also were present for the unveiling. 

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Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.