For good reason, the inaugural six-race American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series produced by the Offshore Powerboat Association and Powerboat P1 got a ton of attention this year. The two organizations, their individual venue organizers and a sea of hardworking volunteers delivered the most successful offshore racing circuit since the early 2000s. Everyone involved, not the least of which were the race teams that showed up in force at each event, needs to take a bow.
It’s been a big year for the Offshore Powerboat Association, which will wrap up its season next month at its beloved world championship venue in Southwest Florida. Photo from the 2018 OPA Offshore World Championships courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
But while the OPA/P1-produced series claimed the limelight, OPA also continued with its own race schedule that included two events in New Jersey and one in Maryland. And led by Ed “Smitty” Smith, the organization will wrap the 2019 season—as it has since 2015—next month with its World Championships in Englewood Beach, Fla.
Last year, the event attracted 58 teams. Earlier this month, the APBA series season finale in Fort Myers Beach, Fla, attracted 68 teams. Ray LaBadie—the lead venue organizer for the OPA Worlds and concurrently running Englewood Beach Waterfest—is expecting 65 teams to show up this year.