Seeking a fresh start from decades of tribalism in offshore powerboat racing, the Offshore Powerboat Association, Powerboat P1 and Race World Offshore—all American Power Boat Association member organizations—have come up with an intriguing plan for the 2021 season. And as it is with most agreements involving sometimes conflicting entities, the plan required compromise on the part of everyone involved, most notably OPA president Ed “Smitty” Smith, P1’s chief executive officer Azam Rangoonwala, Race World Offshore founder and president Larry Bleil and APBA Offshore Commission chairman Rich Luhrs.
For 2021, the Offshore Powerboat Association, Powerboat P1 and Race World Offshore are going to unite completely under the American Power Boat Association. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Translation? For the first time in 30 years, domestic offshore racing will be under the sanctioning body of one organization—APBA.
Following is what the 2021 season will look like.
Offshore Powerboat Association
The OPA has 12 races on its schedule. Six of those contests—finishing up with Roar Offshore in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., in October— will be part of its series to determine the OPA/ APBA National Champions in all classes. “We’ve never had this many races on a schedule before—I just love this sport,” said OPA head Ed Smith in a joint press release from the APBA member organizations. “We’ll promote or co-promote at least one offshore race event a month from April through November and again partner with Powerboat P1 to stage a six-venue APBA Offshore Championship series. We’ll head back to Maryland in July for the OPA Kilo Run in Baltimore.”
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