The Pro Watercross National Tour makes a stop in Panama City Beach

Updated: May. 9, 2021 at 9:50 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The Pro Watercross National Tour made a pit stop in Panama City Beach for the weekend. The event ran from Saturday through Sunday in front of Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant with over 120 competitors coming in from all over the globe. The pro riders took to the waves Saturday, and the amateur riders geared up on Sunday.

Last year, this event was scheduled for May, but due to the pandemic, was pushed back to later in the summer. This year, the competition ran on time and brought spectators in for a free show on the Emerald Coast.

“You don’t see this everyday, here in Panama City Beach, and the racers are going 100 miles per hour out there on the water, zig zagging back and forth,” said Grant Whittstruck, the marketing coordinator for Sharky’s. “They’re catching air time. Some of them are doing backflips in the freestyle section, so it’s just a great event to catch.”

“It’s very exciting,” said Pro Watercross owner, A.J. Handler. “What is there not to enjoy? You’ve got beautiful weather. The waves are actually calmed down a little bit, and you just can’t beat this. It’s beautiful.”

This marks the second year the event has taken place in front of Sharky’s, but not the first time it’s been in PCB.

“We come to Panama City Beach every year,” said owner and racer for the Broward Motorsports team, Sam Nehme. “The sand is gorgeous. The water s are gorgeous. You always have a great crowd, great spectators. We always look forward to it every year. It’s the one stop I always look forward to.”

Even with the competition being postponed in 2020, it was still one of the first sports events to take place in the area after the pandemic started.

“It was a very challenging year last year, and this year seems to be going a lot smoother,” said Handler. “We are still having a few problems with the northern states. You guys have it here. It’s great that we are able to do the events.”

Up next for the tour, the competition will head to South Padre, Texas, and then to Lake Hartwell in Georgia before the World Championships in Naples, Florida in November.

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