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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Bayfair in Mission Bay returned after being postponed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The three-day weekend event is considered the largest West Coast race on the water, but it took an explosive turn when a boat caught fire after its engine exploded.

“Racing boats,” attendee Jesus Osuna said. “You know their so fast, so agile, they’re loud. They’re great.”

The boat was damaged, but the races went on safely at the HomeStreet Bank San Diego Bayfair. 

Gregg Mansfield, of San Diego Bayfair, said it was really difficult for the organization to cancel the event last year.

“We kept pushing it to the last minute when we realized it just wasn’t possible to run a safe event that’s socially distanced,” he said.

This year, organizers put COVID-19 safety measures in place to keep crowds safe.

“We put sanitation stations in place,” Mansfield said. “We’ve been making announcements. We are an outdoor event and so nothings indoors. There are RVers, but they’re all the family unit. The biggest thing going for us is it’s an outdoor event.”

Osuna says his company comes to the Bayfair as a yearly reunion and is happy it has finally returned after two years of being cancelled.

“It was understandable because of the situation, but now that we’re back,” Osuna said. “It’s great. It’s awesome. We’re happy to be back.”

Organizers say they expect 75,000 guests for the entire weekend — and that attendance is up 20% over years past.