BRADENTON, Fla. — The Bradenton Area River Regatta is taking over the Manatee River for the 6th year in a row, with more than 100,000 people expected to be in attendance along the riverwalk in Bradenton and in Palmetto.
For racer Jimmy Kerr, this course is one of the most unique he's come across because of the spectating possibilities from the bridge.
"Visitors, the spectators, they get to see the whole show, just like if you were in a football stadium, you’re up above, and you can see the whole play out,” Kerr said.
The vantage point is also an asset for his crew.
“My crew is also up on the side, and they can watch the whole course up above," he said. "To where, any other race we’re at, they’re behind the racecourse and they can’t see what I see.
"And I need them to see what I see.”
What Kerr sees, is pure love for the sport: “It doesn’t matter if I’m in 1st place, if I’m in last place. To drive this machine is just incredible. I’m blessed to be able to do it, to have the talent to do it.”
Race day is full of energy and excitement but once drivers get inside their vehicles, it’s pure focus.
“When we’re out there in that boat, that machine, there’s nothing else that we think about except for driving that boat and flying it," Kerr said. "When you’re flying it and everything is going great, it’s just calm. Yeah, you’re at peace. I’m at peace actually."
Calm inside the cockpit, but it's chaos at 120 mph on the outside.
“It’s peace but it’s chaos," Kerr said. "Cause the boat is just, you know, and you’re moving around and you’re shaking up, but it’s like, this is my happy place. Nothing else can compare to it."
For the full list of events, you can visit the regatta's website.
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