Over 70,000 spectators and RVers are expected to be part of the end-of-summer tradition as the family-friendly festival takes over East Vacation Island, Crown Point and Fiesta Island. Celebrating its 55th year, HomeStreet Bank San Diego Bayfair is one of California’s largest on-water events.
“HomeStreet Bank San Diego Bayfair continues to grow by offering more activities on land and on Mission Bay,” said Bob Davies, race director for HomeStreet Bank San Diego Bayfair. “From the new Hydro-Flight games and America’s Finest BBQ competition to the fastest boats on the water, we’ve got a memorable weekend ahead of us.”
The newest addition to Bayfair is the Hydro-Flight Games, set for Friday-Sunday on Crown Point. More than 45 competitors from around the world will participate in the exhibition. It features Jetboard competitions, JetBike, JetPacks and a junior competition doing incredible tricks. Hydroflight competitions are popular overseas but there are few events in North America.
“This is a unique opportunity to see these world-class competitors right in your backyard,” Davies said. “They are incredible athletes who will put on a great show for the fans.”
Returning for the second year is the popular America’s Finest BBQ State Championship on Saturday, Sept. 14. The competition will feature more than 50 teams firing up barbecues for the best pork, beef brisket, chicken and pulled pork. The championship event is sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society.
Attendees can purchase food tokens to sample the food and learn from the best in the business on how to barbecue. Tickets to America’s Finest BBQ State Championship are $10; free for Bayfair fans with a three-day Super Pass. The barbecue competition will have a beer garden and music with proceeds benefitting the San Diego Police Historical Association.
On-water activities are led by the H1 Unlimited hydroplanes, which is wrapping up its 2019 season in Mission Bay. Driver Andrew Tate is defending back-to-back Bill Muncey Cup victories in San Diego but expect Miss HomeStreet Bank driver Jimmy Shane to have a say before the weekend is over. Shane of Maple Valley, Washington, is expected to lock up the individual driver and team points championship in San Diego.
Fans who love big piston-power will want to catch the Grand Prix World Supercharged Hydroplanes as they’ll race throughout the weekend. This year the eight teams will be racing for the Secretary of the Navy Cup. The cup, which is on loan from the American Power Boat Association, was last contested in 1931.
“San Diego has such a proud military tradition, we wanted to honor the servicemen and servicewomen,” said Sam Cole, chairman of the Grand Prix World Supercharged Hydroplanes. “The fact the Secretary of the Navy Cup hasn’t been contested for nearly 90 years should be exciting for fans and the racers.”
Bayfair supports the military too by providing free admission to active military and reservists with current identification. Dependents receive 50 percent off their ticket and children under 12 are free.
Rounding out the on-water entertainment are several classes of amateur racing from the American Power Boat Association. The classes expected to participate include 1 Liters, Crackerbox, Stock Hydros, SST and Seabreachers.
Other activities at Bayfair include beer gardens, a large vendor area open to the public on East Vacation Island and activities for the kids. San Diego Bayfair also offers RV spaces to rent on Mission Bay, one of the few opportunities to stay overnight in Mission Bay Park. RV Packages include four nights and five days, plus tickets to the event.
Testing and qualifying with limited racing is on Friday, September 13. Heat races and championship races are on Saturday and Sunday. The Bill Muncey Cup for H1 Unlimited is Sunday afternoon, September 15.
“San Diego is one of the favorite destinations for boat-racing fans across the country,” Davies said. “We see families that attended as a child and are now bring their children and grandchildren to Bayfair. It speaks to how family oriented Bayfair is.”
Single-day tickets start at $25 and a three-day Super Pass is available for $45. Children under age 12 are free. For more information or to purchase advance tickets online, visit www.sandiegobayfair.org.