Veteran offshore powerboat racer Scott Begovich of the Miss GEICO offshore racing team, which claimed two world titles in 2017, and race producer Roger Berkon, who teamed up with the Offshore Powerboat Association to bring an OPA race to Bimini for the first time last year, have been appointed to the OPA board of directors. The move was announced during the 2017 Season OPA Awards Banquet last weekend in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.
Captured here in a restful moment on the Miss GEICO-themed motorcycle during last month’s New York Boat Show, Scott Begovich is looking forward to his new role with the Offshore Powerboat Association.
“I’ve always been interested in the politics of the sport,” said Begovich, who ran his first race with the organization in 1999 in a 24-foot P-5-class Pantera V-bottom. “As OPA gets busier, Smitty (OPA president Ed Smith) gets busier. I know the sport and have a lot of connections.
“I’ve been with Smitty from the beginning and was around when John Haggin (the former owner of the AMF offshore racing team) helped OPA grow,” he continued. “We’re getting a lot of inquiries from people wanting races here and there and it’s overwhelming for one person. I know the game. I have promoted races. So I wanted to step up and help.”
Since exiting the cockpit of the Miss GEICO catamaran last summer, Begovich, who throttled the boat, has been staying busy with the team’s AMF Riviera Beach powerboat rigging and renovation shop in Florida. Begovich has not determined his future racing plans.
“Right now, the plan is for the team to continue with the rental boat as the repairs on our original boat are not finished,” he said. “I’m taking it one step at a time. We just hard our yearly meeting of the Miss GEICO team partners and everything is intact with the team and the sponsorship. And we’re very busy at the AMF shop.”
“We’re not going to rush anything,” he added. “We’re continuing to focus on our business.”
Roger Berkon (left) worked closely with OPA’s Ed “Smitty” Smith to make the inaugural Resorts World Bimini Grand Prix happen. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
With Berkon still deeply involved in the complicated logistics for the international event, the OPA Resorts World Bimini Grand Prix is returning this season. The event producer/promoter has extensive history of race promotion in the Bahamas and the Caribbean, and his experience proved invaluable in helping the organization have a mostly seamless event in the waters off the tiny island.
“It’s an honor to be part of the OPA board,” said Berkon. “I intend to make the best of any opportunity to make OPA all it can be in a sport that is not all it can be. It will take a strong team effort and I am a team player. OPA will be a very strong team.”
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