The most successful offshore powerboat racing circuit since the early 2000s, the American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series is coming back in 2020. As it was this year, the series will be produced by the Offshore Powerboat Association, Powerboat P1 and the same six venue organizers. Starting with the May season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla., and wrapping up with the season finale across the state in Fort Myers Beach, the series will include 13 racing classes.
The OPA and Powerboat P1 will join forces again next year to produce the APBA Offshore Championship Series. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“Our new partnership with the OPA has enabled us to strengthen the future of offshore racing in the United States by uniting race teams in a way that has been missing for a long time,” said Azam Rangoonwala, the chief executive officer of Powerboat P1, in a joint P1/OPA press release. “All the international teams that participated this year have agreed to race in 2020 and we are expecting more to be added to the lineup. Our aim is always to stage events that entertain and excite, and the average attendance figure of more than 70,000 across the season is testimony to the appeal of the new series.”
Ed “Smitty” Smith, the president of OPA and a veteran offshore racer, said he’s looking forward to expanding on the success of the inaugural series. (Smith currently is in Englewood Beach, Fla., for this weekend’s OPA World Championships.)
“All the race sites saw a tremendous increase in boat count, averaging 60-plus teams,” Smith said in the release. “This ensures the enjoyment for race fans, increases value for sponsors and boosts the economic impact for the host venues. Seeing a series like this has been my dream for many years and thanks to the outstanding teamwork created by P1 and OPA it has now become a reality.”
Here is the schedule for the 2020 season:
• May 14-17—Cocoa Beach, Fla.
• May 28-30—Lake Ozark, Mo.
• June 26-28—Sarasota, Fla.
• July 24-26—St. Clair, Mich.
• July 31-August 2—Michigan City, Ind.
• October 8-10—Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
Speedonthewater.com will continue in its role as the championship’s official media partner, with Lucy Nicandri, the lead organizer of the Sarasota Offshore Powerboat Grand Prix Festival, as the APBA Offshore Championship’s media liaison officer. Television coverage and live streaming plans will be announced in the coming weeks.