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First Person from the OPA Nationals and Worlds: Flat Fast Friday

I don’t think there was one team that predicted it would be as calm as it was for yesterday’s Offshore Powerboat Association National Championship race in Englewood Beach, Fla. It was a millpond. That being said, it certainly didn’t hurt the action.

There were three races yesterday. Race No. 1 was SuperStock, Class 6 and Class 7. Race No. 2 was Supercat, Super Vee Light and Class 5. Race No. 3 was Class 3, Class 4 and Unlimited.

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With a pretty new speedonthewater.com sticker on its hull side, Saris Racing Engines took top honors in Class 4 yesterday (click image to enlarge). All photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

The 611 Smith Brothers Racing team had an outstanding run in its 26-foot Joker V-bottom. The team placed first on the course and is the unofficial Class 6 national champions for 2015.

Other action in that race included Wicked Racing (with Jay Muller, fresh from earning Superboat- and Superboat Stock-class world titles last week in the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla.), which was tied for first place in points on the national circuit coming into this race. He ended up in a very close second to Hangin’ and Bangin’, another Class 7 boat.

We won our race but had incredibly stiff competition from Mr. Technology, Will Smith’s new 32-foot Phantom Super Vee Light. Because of his engine, he doesn’t have a legal OPA SVL boat, so the true sportsman he is Smith moved up to Class 4.

For more OPA Nationals action check out the slideshow above.

Cat Can Do and Miss GEICO also had an epic battle, changing leads almost every lap until Cat Can Do closed the door. Miss GEICO headed to the infield soon after with mechanical gremlins—it’s been that kind of year for them, for sure.

Today we will be doing full service on the 441 Saris Racing Engines boat and 518 Team Rufstr boat to to get both teams ready for tomorrow’s races. I’ll check in with any upsets from the GPS readings on the bracketed classes and any interesting mechanical news from the pits.

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In yesterday’s race in Englewood Beach, Cat Can Do prevailed and Miss GEICO—as it has all season—fell to mechanical gremlins.

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