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Image Of The Week: The Elusive Element Of Surprise

The most difficult part of planning a surprise party, as anyone who’s ever done it knows, is keeping it a surprise. Now imagine trying to pull it off in the close-knit offshore racing community—where the average secret stays kept for a nanosecond—during a race weekend. Your chance of stealthy success is slim.

Against all odds, Powerboat P1 chief executive officer Azam Rangoonwala had no idea what was coming last Saturday night in St. Petersburg, Fla. Photos by Roony Mac copyright Powerboat P1.

But that is exactly what VIP hospitality phenom Noelle Marx of Powerboat P1 pulled off last Saturday night during the St. Pete Powerboat Grand Prix with a brief surprise celebration/cake presentation for P1 leader Azam Rangoonwala. The United Kingdom-based organization he heads is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Asif Rangoonwala, his energetic father, founded the race-producing organization in 2003 with a couple of V-bottom classes that competed in exotic locations around the globe. That was 700 races ago and now his son holds the reins of the organization, which currently produces and markets Class 1 offshore and AquaX personal watercraft events.

“I had no idea this was happening,” Rangoonwala said to a reporter enlisted to help make the surprise happen as the second-generation Powerboat P1 leader took the Class 1 awards stage. “How did you all manage to keep this a secret? I can’t believe I didn’t hear anything.”

The reporter shrugged and smiled. Keeping things in confidence is a big part of the trade.

Monster Energy/M CON team owner Tyler Miller, Mercury Racing general manager Stuart Halley, broadcaster Mike Yowaiski and others took to the stage to congratulate Rangoonwala—a true gentleman—who was clearly touched by the gesture.

“My father had a vision, which is sometimes described as the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom, and it was underpinned by passion and energy to build a successful and enduring business in pursuit of a marketing opportunity,” he said to the audience. “The next 20 years are now in my hands.”

Every job worth having includes perks.

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