The only event remaining on the schedule for the six-race American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series, Roar Offshore in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., has been cancelled. Until this morning, the October 8-10 season-ending event was—like the series itself—heading into its second year after a spectacular debut. But with five of the six 2020 APBA series races already cancelled, its chances of the event happening have been diminishing daily.
In 2019, offshore racing returned to the famed Fort Myers Beach, Fla., venue with a record-setting fleet. Photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
“It is with great disappointment that we have to make this announcement; however, at this point we feel there is no way to guarantee the safety and well being of race teams and fans,” the release stated. “We also feel strongly that asking for financial support from our sponsors and our local government would not be received well, understanding how hard they have all been hit financially by the pandemic.”
At present, Lee County (the home of Fort Myers Beach) is not accepting or reviewing any large special event permits. Despite postponing their race until next year, Roar Offshore organizers do plan to hold a Powerboat Fun Run that same weekend of October 10. Details for this new event are still being finalized and will be announced in the coming weeks.
Azam Rangoonwala of Powerboat P1 and Ed Smith of the Offshore Powerboat Association—P1 and OPA teamed up to produce the APBA Series—issued a joint statement.
“This year has been a difficult year for all of us in the powerboat racing community,” they wrote. “This is yet another setback but it is to be expected with the recent COVID-19 spike in cases throughout Florida and the effects the virus has had around the world. We look forward to planning for next year’s series and continuing the strong momentum we achieved in 2019.”
Five offshore races, three under the Offshore Powerboat Association umbrella and two on the Race World Offshore roster, remain on the schedule this year.
Fans showed up in force for the 2019 Fort Myers Beach event.
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