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APBA Series Venue Organizers Set Goals For 2020

Building on the momentum of the most successful offshore racing season in recent history, venue organizers from the inaugural six-race American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series met yesterday in Sarasota, Fla., to plan for the upcoming 2020 circuit. Though the series is the product of a partnership between the Offshore Powerboat Association and Powerboat P1, each organizer handled all on-site details from planning to promotion and worked closely with members in his or her local community.

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With an eye toward building on the success of the 2019 APBA Offshore Championship Series, venue promoters met yesterday in Sarasota (click image to enlarge).

“Our main goal for the upcoming six-race series is to focus on consistency,” said Lucy Nicandri, who heads the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival, the finale of which is an offshore powerboat race. “We plan to have a conference call or meet on a monthly basis.”

Nicandri is heading into her fifteen year as the lead organizer for the Sarasota event and yesterday’s happening was the first such meeting she’s aware of since she began her tenure. She was joined by Azam Rangoonwala of Powerboat P1, Kerry Bartlett and Kevin Pruett of Thunder On Cocoa Beach, Mike Shepherd of the Lake Race and Roar Offshore Fort Myers Beach, Rick Wright of the Great Lakes Grand Prix and Tim and Cyndee Hill, who produce the Fort Myers Beach event with Shepherd. Bob Currier of the St. Clair River Classic and OPA head Ed “Smitty Smith” teleconferenced in during the afternoon portion of the meeting.

“This is something I have wanted to happen for several years,” she continued. So I am very excited.”

Shepherd and Nicandri agreed to co-chair the newly formed promoters group in 2020. Goals for the upcoming season include.

 Working with OPA/P1 on leveraging series sponsors that would benefit all sites financially and the overall series.
 Working together on statewide or regional sponsorships that could be split among race sites.
 Assisting one another with cross promotion/marketing/advertising.
 Designing a race series logo for branding purposes.
 Developing a centralized online purchase area to purchase race day VIP tickets to all six race sites.
 Building a shared media portal promoters would have access to race team profiles (boat photos/pilots) by class.
 Ensuring a baseline average of expenses for all race site contracts.
 Designing in advance a very standardized race packet for each site at least two weeks in advance (if not sooner).
 Streamlining pre-registration and prize purse payouts as much as possible.

From Cocoa Beach, Fla., to Michigan City, Ind., the 2019 APBA Offshore Championship Series was a resounding success. Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

“The racers are our primary customers—that was something we all discussed and emphasized in the meeting,” said Nicandri. “We have to do everything we can to make things more efficient for them throughout the season.”

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