San Diego Bayfair’s World Series of Powerboat Racing, on September 18-20, is a family festival tradition for more than 40 years that speeds to the finish line.
Over 23 individual racing classes and over 150 high competition teams have been invited for 2015, highlighting this year’s exciting speed classic on the waters of Mission Bay Park. The boats, some racing at speeds over 225 miles per hour, come every year to San Diego because of the outstanding race course conditions and summer weather. But it’s the family festival, live entertainment, vendors, great food and beer gardens, fireworks, kid’s fun zone, and other family activities, which set the event apart from others. And it’s all held in San Diego’s jewel, Mission Bay Park.
Bayfair, San Diego’s largest annual family festival and sports competition attracts race fans from all over the world, with over 150,000 spectators in 3 days. Bayfair is famous for its family festival atmosphere (over 1,000 motorhomers), interactive exhibits, vendors and specialty foods, nightly live entertainment and Saturday night fireworks extravaganza, there’s something for everyone in the family. San Diego Bayfair attracts more powerboat racing classes than any other site in the world, and is known as the hallmark event in the nation. The different classes of boats will race on the famed Bill Muncey Memorial Race Course, in honor of the sport’s greatest unlimited driver with 62 unlimited wins. The Bill Muncey race course is the fastest race course in the world.
San Diego Bayfair has a long and rich tradition in Mission Bay Park. The first race was staged in 1964 thanks to the foresight of the great Unlimited hydroplane racer Bill Muncey. Muncey was the driving force behind Bayfair and getting the racecourse built to host the event. The 2.5-mile racecourse, which was named after the late Muncey, is the longest and fastest racecourse on the H1 Unlimited hydroplane circuit. Driver Dave Villwock set the World Lap Speed Record of 173.384 mph in 1999 at Bayfair. Villwock has won a record nine Bill Muncey Cups, including his first ever Unlimited hydroplane race victory on the waters of Mission Bay.
Over the years, more than 5 million people have enjoyed the races on Mission Bay. Bayfair has grown from just a hydroplane race in 1964 to an event that featured drag boats, international competitors, live music and aerial demonstrations. Boat-racing tours including Formula One tunnel boats, Grand Prix West, P1 USA, Pacific Offshore Powerboat Racing Association and various semi-professional classes have competed at Bayfair.
Bayfair is a nonprofit event organized and run entirely by volunteers. An eight-member Board of Governors directs and oversees more than 700 volunteers to stage the three-day festival, which takes places each September. More than 500 RV owners, friends and family get the rare opportunity to stay in Mission Bay Park for the festival weekend. The event is featured on national television and in local and national print publications. In 2012, Bayfair was responsible for generating 13,600 room nights and in excess of $1.7 million in hotel revenue, according to a survey performed by VisionQuest. In the past, San Diego Bayfair has been a strong supporter of military veteran programs and other charitable community causes.