Called the Crystal Coast Grand Prix, the first race of the Offshore Powerboat Association season—the first race of the entire 2020 offshore season for that matter—is set for September 11-13 in Morehead City, N.C. OPA president Ed “Smitty” Smith said he is expecting 35 to 40 boats to compete in the contest, which was a new addition to the American Power Boat Association member-organization’s roster this year.
The Super Stock-class, Lake of the Ozarks-based CR Racing team of Casey Boaz and Rob Unnerstall are committed to competing in Morehead City, N.C., this weekend. Photo from the 2020 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Among the competitors committed to the Morehead City event is Ryan Beckley of Sarasota, Fla. Beckley will throttle his Super Stock-class 30-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran under the locally based Floyds 1921 Restaurant and Catering sponsorship banner with driver Tom Kennedy.
“I think we’ll have six or seven Super Stock boats there,” said Beckley.
Based in Illinois, Reese Langheim, Florida’s Ricky Maldonado and the entire Jackhammer team is looking forward to the Crystal Coast Grand Prix. A fellow 32-foot Victory catamaran owner, Floridian Gary Ballough will run FJ Propeller with Darren Kittredge in the event.
Though a Supercat-class contest likely won’t materialize at the North Carolina venue, the Super Stock boats will still have bigger catamaran company on the water with the Miss GEICO team’s recent commitment to participate in the event. Offshore racing fans will get their first view of extreme sports superstar Travis Pastrana driving his first race in the team’s 47-foot Victory cat alongside veteran throttleman Steve Curtis.
On the canopied V-bottom side of the equation, Smith said he expects six or seven Super Vee Light teams join the fray.
Two races in addition to the Morehead City contest currently remain on the OPA Roster:
• Offshore at The Ozarks–Cat Edition—October 2-3, Lake Ozarks, Mo.
• OPA World Championships—November 19-22, Englewood Beach, Fla.
Editor’s Note: Speedonthewater.com chief photographer Pete Boden will be on scene to capture the action from the Crystal Coast Grand Prix.
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