Million Dollars of fun on tap

The Million Dollar Run is a high-octane slab of sun, sea and speed.

Each year, thousands are attracted to the brilliant event on the beach to take part in the fun and to watch some of the fastest and most nippy power boats on the planet seeking to work out who can zoom with the most zest. As Easter Mondays go, there isn’t a more exciting one on the planet.

But that’s not all – there are, as ever, a series of events leading up to the buzzy open-water races, all of which look set to get the pulse racing, too.

First up, on Thursday, 21 April, is the Captain’s Cocktail at the Grand Old House, where all officials of the Million Dollar Run and the captains get together from 7-10pm to meet up and no doubt swap stories of past feats and future plans.

The next evening, Friday, 22 April, is the official kick-off party, which begins at 12.01am. There’ll be DJs from Spin FM and VJs from Vibe FM as everyone involved gets together to socialise at the event, dubbed High Rollers VIP Lounge.

Vroom vroom

A new event takes place Saturday, 23 April, from 11am to 4pm when the Royal Palms car park is host to the Million Dollar Car and Boat Show. Expect lots of luxury cars, including those from the Cayman Motor Museum, plus antiques, show cars and motorcycles. And don’t forget the performance boats – enough to get anyone drooling.

“The Car and Boat Show is an exciting addition to Million Dollar Run because it creates the opportunity for spectators and boating fans to get an inside look to the race crafts and build some anticipation to see them race on the Monday race day event,” said Cristina Hefner of Paramount Media.

“It also provides local Car and Boat Dealerships an opportunity to display their new feature vehicles and crafts for 2011. Sponsorship opportunities are available for car and boat dealerships to reserve an area for the show for displays, information booths and lending officers. We are also looking for local Caymanians and residents who own antique and show cars to contact us so that we can have their cars on display as well.”

Entry to the boat show is $5 for adults and free for kids under 13. Spectators can view vehicles that include the new Rolls-Royce Phantom, Ferrari 360 & 430, BMW M3 and M6, antique show cars, street bikes and Harley Davidsons. The Vibe and Spin FM DJs will perform, there’s a kids’ play zone, including a bouncy castle, and food and drink will be on sale all day.

Later that evening, at 7pm to be precise, the Reef Grill hosts the Captains and Sponsors’ Dinner. Held at the poolside cabanas, this ticket-only event is both exclusive and delicious. Contact [email protected] for more information on how to purchase tickets.

Heart racing

Race Day, of course, is the heart of the matter and on Monday, 25 April, from 11am to 5pm, the Million Dollar Run events take place at Royal Palms Beach. There’s no entry fee, and this year a number of new classes and features have been introduced.

There is a new race class – Pleasure Craft – a circuit race for the fishermen-style/leisure boats.

Or how about the brand-new Jet Ski Challenge called Thunder Run? With more than US$3,000 in cash and prizes available, there are two division classes in this circuit challenge: pro-am open and expert limited.

Perhaps you’d prefer the Corona Kayak inflatable race – a family-friendly race on inflatable kayaks. It’s a tag-team challenge for family and friends around a shallow area on the beach front. This one’s free to enter, as is the paddleboard race course challenge – all you need to do is rent your paddleboard.

But wait – there’s more!

If you prefer not to get your feet wet, try the Corona Volleyball Challenge. More details available from the Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation [email protected]

There’s also, for a quick $10, the chance to walk on water with the new craze – Wow Balls.

The Race

This year there are three boat classes, broadening the range of those who can compete in the Million Dollar Run.

Pleasure Craft

A new class for fishermen-style/leisure boats and new captains wanting to get involved in the event.

Circuit Class

This is for experienced captains and medium-performance craft.

Offshore Class

The most experienced captains and high-performance craft.

The route will entail an exciting rolling start from the Marriott Beach Resort area 300 yards offshore. The crafts will then blast up world-famous Seven Mile Beach heading West toward the Public Beach area and continue to Northwest Point before making a turn and heading back South toward the Thompson Mooring in George Town. Then they’ll make another sharp turn before heading back to Royal Palms.

For the poker run element of the race, cards are chosen randomly before, during and after the race to form a full five-card hand for each captain at the race’s conclusion.

Deadline for entry is Thursday, 21 April. The fee is US$800.

The Ugland Offshore Racing Million Dollar Run is presented by Cayman Motor Museum, Crighton Properties, caycompass.com, Butterfield, Corona Extra and Corona Light, Bacardi, The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Cayman Airways, Fast Signs – Custom Signs and Digital Printing, Intec Research Sound & light systems, Celebrations, Tropical Shipping, Royal Palms, Paramount Carpets, Paramount Media, Vibe 98.9FM, Spin 94.9FM, and Monster Media.

For more information on registration, log on to www.mdr.ky or contact Christina Hefner at Monster Media on 345-949-8423 or email [email protected]

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Race day, pace day. Photo: Submitted
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