Rum Barrel to host Formula H2O’s 3rd Annual Vandenberg Underwater Grand Prix Racers

The Rum Barrel welcomes racers from Formula H2O’s 3rd Annual Vandenberg Underwater Grand Prix on May 18 at 6:30 p.m. on the Quarterdeck for the Racers’ Meeting!

The weekend celebration by the Wreck Racing League will kick off the 2012 Formula H2O Racing Circuit and honor the 3rd anniversary of the sinking of the Vandenberg with the annual race and events May 18 to 20, 2012.

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Originally a U.S. Navy transport ship in WWII, the Vandenberg was sunk in May 2009. It is the largest artificial reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the second largest in the world. The ship is now home to pelagic and reef fish, and many other species of marine plants and animals.

The Vandenberg Underwater Grand Prix festivities begin with the Racers’ Meeting on the Rum Barrel rooftop at the corner of Front and Simonton streets in Downtown Key West.

At 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, participants will meet at the Florida Keys Community College Lagoon for DPV certification, testing, and Manufacturers Races. Lunch, gear and tank rentals will be available through the FKCC Dive Club. A free BBQ will be held for racers and Wreck Racing League fans at 7:00 p.m. at the Seaduction Dive Shop on Truman Avenue.

On Sunday, May 20, divers will race around the superstructure of the ship in the 3rd Annual Vandenberg Underwater Grand Prix. Supporting hotel properties include the Quality Inn and Lexington Hotel in Key West. Visit for booking discounts, information and race registration.

The Vandenberg was placed in her final resting place three years ago, six miles off the coast of Key West, and has become one of the world’s premier scuba diving venues. It was the inspiration for the creation of the Wreck Racing League and Formula H2O.

“We wanted to mark the 1st anniversary of the sinking in a big way, we accomplished that and now the Wreck Racing League has its grown its own national and international following!” said Joe Weatherby, Co-Founder of the League. Weatherby is also responsible for spearheading the Vandenberg project.

“We are all about clean water and alternative power as well as promoting the sport of scuba diving and our host destinations,” Weatherby said.

Anyone interested in competing or participating in the events should contact the Wreck Racing League at Visit and Formula H2O Racing on Facebook for more information.

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