100,000 expected at Bradenton Area River Regatta

- Fast boats and jaw dropping stunts are what you'll find at the Bradenton Area River Regatta Saturday.

Some will be so fast - if you blink you, might miss it.

Formula 2 powerboats, and some of the fastest jet skis in the world, will take over the Bradenton River. And at the controls will be some of the most skilled racers in the country.

"It's what I fell in love with, being on the water, being on a jet ski, being able to go fast and compete on the highest level. It's just a dream for me," said pro-rider Eric Lagopoulos. "I've raced around the world for so many years, but to be able to race in my own backyard is kind of a treat."

Fellow racer Kirk Britto is a Bay Area native, too.

"The first year I came out, I got a third place. Last year, I got a second. This year is my time to get a win," Britto said.

The River Regatta is a unique set up. It's split between Bradenton and Palmetto. Spectators get in for free and the Green Bridge is shut down to cars, so race watchers can easily walk between both cities to catch all the action.

"It's super unique because fans can go up on the bridge and look down. That doesn't happen too often," said Britto.

Last year, bad weather cut expected attendance nearly in half, only bringing 50,000 people out. But this year, event organizers expect clear skies and nearly 100,000 people to attend.

"I don't think it's exorbitant to the reality. I know that the weather is the big determinant, so a lot of people must have been praying - myself included - for beautiful weather for tomorrow. For us, this is the third event. We would like it to be the charm," said Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant.

Both cities are hoping the turnout exceeds expectations, giving people a new view of the Bradenton area.

"There's a lot of entertainment that is going to be on both sides of the river. There's reasons to go to both sides," Mayor Groover Bryant said.

For more information on the day's events, visit, http://www.bradentonarearegatta.com/.

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