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First Person from the OPA Nationals and Worlds: It’s a Fine Wrap

As I guessed not long after I arrived here, Englewood Beach, Fla., was the ideal place for an event as large as the 2015 Offshore Powerboat Association Nationals/Worlds. The people were fantastic and the town was very supportive. I can’t wait to go back next year. And the racing on the final day proved to be as exciting as ever.

Smith Brothers Racing in Class 6 had an outside lane at the start, and was on a mission to catch Whoa Momma. To take the Class 6 world title, they had to beat Whoa Momma by more than one second. Unfortunately for the Smith Brothers folks, they ran out of time and came home with second place (although they did win the Class 6 National Championship). But their hell bent charge against Whoa Momma made for awesome racing.

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The Smith Brothers cockpit crew ran their boat as if they were angry at it, but couldn’t quite overcome Whoa Momma to take the Class 6 world championship. Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Another great duel was the intense battle between FJ Propellers and Cape Haze Marina. Every lap there was a different leader, with Ryan Beckley and Tanner Lewis prevailing in the Cape Haze Marina Skater catamaran.

By race No.3, the seas had picked up substantially. This was exactly what we needed in our boat, Saris Racing Engines. We had the outside lane, and I knew Mr. Technology would accelerate hard and never give up the inside line. We battled hard for two to three laps, staying right at his hip, but the seas kept getting bigger and bigger—and that’s our kind water. Our boat really loves that stuff, and Jason, my dad, is an old-school throttleman. Big water is his thing. It worked in our favor and we claimed our third Class 4 OPA World Championship.

For a closer look at yesterday’s action during the OPA Nationals/Worlds, check out the slideshow above.

OK, I have confess: This one was really special. Not only did we win our first National Championship as a team in Englewood, we did it in front of a special group of 28 of our hometown fans who flew down to cheer us on. We brought all of them up on stage to accept our award, and we ran out of room.

It’s a great feeling having hometown support while racing 1,500 miles away, we are very blessed as a team and can’t wait for next season!

Editor’s note: For complete results from the 2015 OPA National/World Championships when they become available, visit the OPA website.

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