When the P1 Powerboat races roar across the clear blue waters of St. Pete Beach this weekend, the loudest roar may come from the crowds. Thousands of racing fans will stand on the beach and watch watercraft from all over the world compete at very high speeds.
One of those racers never thought he’d be riding a personal watercraft. Anthony Radetic’s wife suggested he give jet skis a try after he was paralyzed from a car accident in Alabama.
Upon returning from service in the Army as a helicopter pilot from 2000 to 2010, Radetic wasn’t sure what to do with his life after his accident.
“I was basically a couch potato,” he said. “I needed to find a new normal.”
Against his doctor’s wishes, Radetic bought a jet ski on Craigslist and started learning the art of racing on the water. He’s attempted to master the craft over the past seven years. Now, he races all over the country.
“It’s a great sport,” he said with a smile.
This weekend, Radetic will compete in the waters just off the shoreline of St. Pete Beach. The Florida native hopes his story inspires others to live life to the fullest each day.
The P1 Powerboat races are June 17-18 about 1 ½ miles off the Postcard Inn on St. Pete Beach. Team Barbados was the 2016 U.S. points champion in the P1 Superstocks competition.
The event will feature P1 Superstock boats, which are all 28-foot, two-step V-hulls powered by Mercury 300XS V-6 outboards, and the AquaX jet ski series during both days of competition.
The jet skis will race in three classes – 200-, 250- and 300-horsepower.