Among the participants in last week’s American Power Boat Association annual meeting in Seattle was Race World Offshore president Larry Bleil. Based in Key West, Fla., Race World Offshore is an APBA-member organization, so Bleil departed a family trip to Calgary, Canada and headed for the Northwest for a few days to take in those meetings involving offshore powerboat racing rule changes and venues for the 2023 season.
When it comes to offshore powerboat racing venues, there’s nothing like Key West, Fla. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Among those venues is Key West, Fla., a Race World Offshore site that will host the Union Internationale Motonautique/APBA World Championships in early November. Race World Offshore also has two Sunshine State race sites—the season-opener in Marathon and closer in Clearwater—in the 2023 APBA Offshore National Championship Series.
But Bleil departed Seattle with more than a clearer picture of what’s in store for offshore racing this season. During Saturday night’s closing celebration, he was received the APBA’s “Best Large Race Site” award for the 2022 Key West world championships, which were presented by Performance Boat Center.
“It was a surprise and thrill—I didn’t even know that award was out there,” he said, then chuckled. “But I was so honored to receive it from an organization that is more than 120 years old.”
With several years left on Race World Offshore’s contract to produce the Key West happening, Bleil is bullish on the future of the event.
“Just wait to see what we do in the future—that’s what I said when I received the award on Saturday night,” he said. “Like the sport itself, our Key West race—and all of our races—are only going to get bigger and better.”
Said Bleil, “I didn’t even know that award was out there.”
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