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Fatality in OPA Point Pleasant Beach Race Leads to Cancellation

Today’s Offshore Powerboat Association races in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., were called off after a Class 5 competitor was killed during an accident in the first contest of the day. Veteran offshore racer David Raabe died when Repeat Offender, the 27-foot Magnum V-bottom he owns and throttles, collided with the Smith Brothers raceboat, a 26-foot Joker Class 6 V-bottom.

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This 27-Magnum Spitfire V-bottom was involved in a fatal accident that claimed the life of David Raabe, the boat’s owner and throttleman, during the first race of the OPA event in Point Pleasant, N.J., earlier today. Photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.

Both open-cockpit boats sustained signficant damage in the incident, which happened in a turn on the course, according to two witnesses on scene. The Repeat Offender boat was towed back to the docks. The Smith Brothers boat sank and—at this writing—has not been recovered.

The Repeat Offender boat’s driver, whose name has not been publicly disclosed, was taken to a local trauma center. He reportedly is in critical condition and and in intensive care.

Neither driver Pete Smith nor his brother, Rich, who throttles the Smith Brothers boat, was seriously injured. Officials from OPA could not be reached for comment when this story went live.