~~ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Thursday, June 5, 2014   CONTACT:  Kathy Melson, 251-284-3730 info@thunderonthegulf.comMarshall Tucker Band to kick off 2014 Flora-Bama Shootout ~ Thunder on the Gulf /ThunderRun Super Boat Grand Prix at the Event Center at the Wharf! 
ORANGE BEACH, AL ~ The Gulf Coast Powerboat Association (GCPA) is proud to announce that classic Southern Rockers, The Marshall Tucker Band, will be in concert on Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 7:30 pm. The concert will be held at the Orange Beach Event Center at The Wharf.  Tickets are $20 for General Admission and $45 for Premier Seating. Platinum VIP Ticket Holders will get in FREE!  All tickets are available at www.thunderonthegulf.com.

Kathy Melson, Event Coordinator for the Gulf Coast Powerboat Association said, “This year we are putting on two fantastic events in two fantastic cities in one weekend!”  Billed as the 'Flora-Bama Shootout’, the 11th Annual Thunder on the Gulf Powerboat Races will be held on Friday, August 22nd, in beautiful Orange Beach, AL and the Inaugural ThunderRun Super Boat Grand Prix event starts on Saturday August 23rd and races take place on Sunday, August 24th in historic downtown Pensacola, FL.
The weekend festivities kick off on Thursday August 21st, with a Welcome Party at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club from 4-6pm. THAT’S NOT ALL!!!  The GCPA is thrilled to announce that classic southern rockers, The Marshall Tucker Band, will be in concert later that
evening at The Wharf’s Orange Beach Event Center.

Under the leadership of the band’s veteran and lead vocalist Doug Gray, MTB continues to WOW fans with decades of timeless music and a powerful stage presence. They are BRINGING IT to the new generations with no end in sight. The current band members include Rick Willis on lead guitar and vocals, bassist Pat Elwood, B.B. Borden, the accomplished drummer/percussionist, Marcus Henderson, the multi-instrumentalist/vocalist, and Chris Hicks one of the most respected guitar players, singer, and songwriter in the music industry.

MTB never fails to deliver onstage.  Their unique sound blends Jazz, Blues, Country, Rock, and Gospel, which has kept their music just as alive today as it has over the past 40 years. 

​The Marshall Tucker Band has influenced many modern country stars with their music such as, Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Randy Houser and The Zac Brown Band, just to name a few. When asked about how he has been able to keep the MTB brand going, Doug Gray said, “What it boils down to is that if you keep pleasing the audience, they’ll keep coming back. When we started, we just wanted to make enough money to pay for beer!”  He said that he is truly happiest when he is able to get onstage and connect with the people through their unforgettable music.

Doors open at 6:30pm and WHYTE CAPS, a local band that has fast captured a lot of attention in the Southeast and the #1 spot on REVERBNATION opens the evening at 7:30pm.  XXXXXXXX

CONTACT Kathy Melson  251-284-3730                                               
KathyMelson@gmail.com  www.ThunderOnTheGulf.com 
Travel industry organization has saluted region’s best events since 1985 ORANGE BEACH (April 14, 2014) – The Southeast Tourism Society (STS) has named Orange Beach’s Thunder on the Gulf one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast for August 2014, placing it in a distinguished group of events recommended by travel industry experts.  This year’s event, held on the gorgeous beaches in Orange Beach, AL will run August 15th – 24th with a full Race Week of activities.  “Every year since 2003, Thunder on the Gulf has thrilled race teams and fans from around the country and the world,” said Kathy Melson Event Coordinator, “and we are thrilled and honored by this prestigious recognition from STS.”  This fun-filled event is designed to promote tourism along the Gulf Coast.  The festivities will kick off at the Welcome Party at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club where we will be meetin’ and greetin’ the race teams and helping the Flora-Bama celebrate 50 years of doin’ it and doin’ it RIGHT on the line!   While this is the 11th Annual Thunder on the Gulf, the Gulf Coast Powerboat Assn decided to raise the stakes and have TWO Races in TWO different States in hopes of bringing more of these mammoth race boats to the Coast.  This year’s event is billed as the “Flora-Bama Shootout”.  And as always the race fans will be able to enjoy Thunder on the Gulf from one of 6,000 condos which line the liquid raceway, each balcony a skybox to watch these exciting superboats!  VIP Ticket holders will be able to view the race from the VIP Tent located on the beach in front of The Island House Hotel, the Official Host Hotel.  As part of the VIP experience they will enjoy a complimentary BBQ, beer and soft drinks.  Platinum VIP ticket holders will watch the race in a luxurious penthouse at Turquoise Place where they will enjoy a catered lunch, cash bar and live entertainment. The Thunder on the Gulf races will be Friday, August 22nd at 1 and 3pm.  An awards ceremony will be held that evening to honor the winners of the day’s events.  Saturday the superboats and race teams will be at Race Village at Plaza de Luna in historic downtown Pensacola.  Vendors and  Live Entertainment will fill the area.  There will be a Bikini Contest, a Shootout among race boats and teams, a Boat Parade and a Street Party, with a Fireworks Display to cap off the evening!  Sunday’s Thunder Run Grand Prix will be held at 1pm and 3pm.  The public can have free viewing at Maritime Park.  VIP Ticket holders will have a special VIP Tent and Viewing Area in Plaza de Luna, where they will enjoy a catered lunch and cash bar.    The ThunderRun Awards Ceremony will follow, with special Flora-Bama Shootout trophies given to the top racers in both combined races.  “The STS Top 20 Events list is an excellent guide for travelers in the Southeast.”  Said Neville Bhada, vice president of communications and public relations for the Southeast Tourism Society.  “Events selected represent the best activities the region offers.  Being chosen is a great accolade that can draw extra attention to a festival or special event.” Top 20 recognition by the Southeast Tourism Society positions Thunder on the Gulf and the Flora-Bama Shootout to receive extensive media exposure in the United States and Canada, including print, internet, TV and radio.  Society President William Hardman announcing the fall Top 20 Events, said the society distributes the listings to more than 800 newspapers, magazines and broadcast stations and to AAA and other travel-related organizations.  Hardman added that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution prints the Atlanta headquartered society’s Top 20 Events as a quarterly feature in its travel pages.  The Southeast Tourism Society started its Top 20 Events program in 1985.  Travel industry experts select 20 events per month, and STS publicizes the list throughout the United States and in Canada.  The complete list is published monthly on two websites: www.southeasttourism.org and www.escapetothesoutheast.com.   Hardman said the Top 20 Events pages are consistently among the most visited pages on the two sites.  For more information on the Flora-Bama Shootout ~ Thunder on the Gulf ~ ThunderRun Superboat Grand Prix, visit www.ThunderOnTheGulf.com  


CONTACT Kathy Melson





Alan also specializes in Digital Illustrations for both Offset Publications and the Screen Printing Industries

ORANGE BEACH (April 9, 2014) – The Gulf Coast Powerboat Association is proud to announce that local artist Alan Woolford has designed the Official Artwork for this year’s Flora-Bama Shootout ~ Thunder on the Gulf/ThunderRun Superboat Grand Prix. This is the third year the GCPA has commissioned his artwork. Kathy Melson, Event Coordinator, knew that she had to get an artist that could turn the concept of two separate events into one mega-event and be able to portray it in artwork that would be used for merchandise, programs and posters. She said that she knew exactly who to contact. “Alan has worked with us since 2011. I have been intrigued with his artwork which features the beautiful underwater world that we have right here on the Gulf Coast. His artwork this year features both the Orange Beach and Pensacola skylines, as well as three of the most popular boats on the racing circuit that will be racing with us this year: GEICO, the Spirit of Qatar and Marine Technology, Inc (MTI).

His clientele includes ESPN Sportsman’s Challenge TV series, ESPN’s BXRL Fishing Trail, American Yachts, Galati Yachts, Hog’s Breath Saloon, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Stores, and dozens of sportsfishing oriented bars and restaurants, marinas, dive shops and bait and tackle shops.

Alan’s screen printed apparel has been available at Boaters World, West Marine, Captain Harry’s, Outer Banks Outfitters, and JC Penny.

His artwork has been featured in Marlin magazine, Fly Fishing In Saltwaters magazine, and The Gulfcoast Angler magazine. Alan is a proud member of The Graphic Artists Guild.

To see Alan’s artistry first hand visit www.AlanWoolford.com. For more information on the 2014

Flora-Bama Shootout, featuring Thunder on the Gulf and the inaugural ThunderRun Superboat Grand Prix please visit www.ThunderOnThe Gulf.com .


~~Super Boat International Adds Pensacola To 2014 Schedule
March 10, 2014

The 2014 offshore racing season is setting up to be another exciting year! Races are scheduled throughout the year with various locations in Florida, Indiana, Alabama, and New York City. Clearwater Beach will once again welcome Super Boat International for the National Championships and Key West will host the most unforgettable race of the year, the 34th Annual Key West World Championships. We are looking forward to a year full of really exciting racing, and are thrilled to see what all of the teams sporting MTIs will bring to the competition.NEW STOP ADDED TO THE LINEUP — competing teams will be heading to Pensacola Beach, Florida this coming August! This is part of the new double header weekend with racing in Orange Beach, Alabama on Friday and off Pensacola Beach on Sunday. The dry pits will be in Pensacola and teams will convoy to Orange Beach for Friday’s race. The demand is so large that it has spilled over into the panhandle of Florida.

Details coming soon.Source: www.superboat.com; February 8, 2014.Category: Current News, Race & Boat Show News.

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~~FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Tuesday, February 4, 2014

    CONTACT: Kathy Melson (251)284-3730

 The Gulf Coast Powerboat Association Proudly Presents 2014 Thunder on the Gulf (And MORE Amazing Events!!!)

ON THE FLORIDA/ALABAMA LINE: February 4, 2014 – The Gulf Coast Powerboat Association is proud to announce the formation of the Flora-Bama Shootout Grand Prix Championship. TWO exciting race days in TWO exciting cities! We will be having a full Race Week schedule, including a Golf Tournament, Fishing Tournament, Thunder Motorcycle Run, TWO Bikini Contests, AND a Boat Parade and Street Party in the heart of Historic Downtown Pensacola!

Thunder on the Gulf will race on Friday, August 22nd in beautiful Orange Beach, Alabama and the Inaugural Thunder run Superboat Grand Prix will race on Sunday, August 24th on the waterfront on the Bay in Pensacola! Add in a FANTASTIC Race Village and Wet Pits at Plaza de Luna and the Port of Pensacola, as well as the Wet Pits in Orange Beach and it is a WIN/WIN for EVERYONE: Race Fans, Teams, Sponsors and Cities!

Once again Super Boat International, led by former Super Boat Racer, John Carbonell of Key West, Florida, and the premier sanctioning body of offshore powerboat racing will produce

the 2014 races in Orange Beach and Pensacola. The World Famous Flora-Bama will host

an historic Welcome Race Fans Party for all Locals, Race Fans and Teams on Thursday, August 21st. EVERYONE IS INVITED TO GET THE PARTY STARTED!!!

For the first time we will be offering a Kids VIP Pass for kids 12 yrs and younger. The regular VIP Pass will give race fans free access to Race Village and a special viewing area from the VIP Hospitality Tent located at the Island House Hotel for the Thunder on the Gulf races. You can enjoy a BBQ picnic Friday, August 22nd beginning at 11am. The Awards Ceremony for the Thunder on the Gulf Races will be held at 5:30 pm at a Hospitality Sponsor in Orange Beach…

AND THAT’S NOT ALL!!! Your VIP Pass will allow you access to the VIP Tent at Plaza de Luna, South Palafox Street on the Pensacola Bay Race Course! There will be a catered lunch with a cash bar. VIP’s will receive 2 free drink tickets. The giant power boats will be on display at Race Village at Plaza de Luna and the Port of Pensacola Saturday, August 23rd where you can enjoy the festival atmosphere along the waterfront with many Vendors, Artist, and Live Entertainment. Saturday afternoon the Racers will compete in a Shootout on the Bay to see who has the fastest Boat. The Miss Thunder run Bikini Contest will be held at Race Village. Later Saturday evening the Super Boats will line up and parade downtown, stopping on Palafox Street for a giant Block Party with all the merchants joining in the festivities! A fireworks display compliments of the Blue Wahoos will add to the excitement!

The exciting 6.5 mile Thunder Run Grand Prix Races on the liquid race course of Pensacola Bay will begin at 1pm Sunday, with the final races at 3pm. The Winners will receive their awards at 5:30 pm at an Awards Ceremony.

To learn more about the powerboats that will compete in the Flora-Bama Shootout Grand Prix Championship this year, check out www.superboat.com. VIP Passes are $25 for a Kids VIP Pass and $125 for a regular VIP Pass and are on sale online. For more details, including Volunteering, Lodging Sponsors with condos on the race course and info on GCPA, please visit our website at www.ThunderOnTheGulf.com , LIKE us on Face Book, or call us at 251-980-RACE (7223).






in Concert

AUGUST 21, 2014 

Orange Beach Event Center

@ The Wharf

~~Flora-Bama new title sponsor for Thunder on the Gulf Races will be in Orange Beach on Aug. 22

Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 4:47 pm | Updated: 5:36 pm, Tue Feb 4, 2014.

Flora-Bama new title sponsor for Thunder on the Gulf

BY JOHN MULLEN~~ jmullen@gulfcoastnewspapers.comGulfCoastNewsToday.com

ORANGE BEACH, AL – Like the Interstate Mullet Toss, powerboat races this year along this coast will be going interstate.

No, Flora-Bama patrons won’t be throwing powerboats across the state line like they do slimy mullet, but this year’s Thunder on the Gulf is taking on a Flora-Bama flavor.

Event coordinator Kathy Melson said as the group came up with the idea to have a race in Orange Beach and in Pensacola the idea “this is a Flora-Bama event” came to mind. So she came up with the perfect name to bring the Flora-Bama online when she presented to one of the Flora-Bama owners, John McInnis.

“John McInnis has been involved with powerboat racing down here since we started,” Melson told a crowd of supporters and media gathered at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club on Tuesday, Feb. 4. “I told him we wanted to call it the ‘Flora-Bama Shootout Gran Prix Championship’ and he loved it.

” So now the iconic roadhouse that somewhat straddles the state line became the main sponsor of a two-part race, one on Aug. 22 in Orange Beach which will be called the traditional Thunder on the Gulf. The other will be called Thunder Run and will be on the bay in Pensacola with the course passing Maritime Park.

“I’m excited about this event, it is right here on the Alabama-Florida line and my co-owners Joe Gilchrist and Pat McClellan have been trying for years to get the state of Alabama and the state of Florida to work together,” McInnis said. “This is a great opportunity to do that, especially here in our coastal region. It’s going to be a fun event. It will draw people in from all over the country and raise money charity at the same time. I can’t wait til the races.

” There will be wet pits in both Orange Beach and Pensacola and the race village will be open Aug. 23-24 I Plaza de Luna in downtown Pensacola.

“We will be having a full race week schedule including a golf tournament, fishing tournament out of Outcast Charters, Thunder Motorcycle Run, two bikini contests and a boat parade and street party in the heart of historic downtown Pensacola.

For information on VIP packages which will be good in both Orange Beach and Pensacola visit ThunderOnTheGulf.com.

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