Celebrating its 11th anniversary next year, the Great Lakes Grand Prix based in Michigan City, Ind., will be part of the six-race Offshore Powerboat Association/Powerboat P1 series in 2019. The event’s board of directors finalized its decision for the event to join the OPA/Powerboat P1 series this week.
Based in Michigan City, Ind., the Great Lakes Grand Prix will celebrate its 11th anniversary under the OPA/Powerboat P1 umbrella. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
For the past 10 years, the Michigan City contest has been produced by Super Boat International, which is based in Key West, Fla.
“We would not be where we are without SBI,” said Rick Wright, the director of the race. “John and Deana Carbonell of SBI have been wonderful to work with. The future of the Michigan City race is based on getting more national and international attention. Being part of the OPA/Powerboat P1 series brings that.”
According to Wright the annual event on the southernmost shore of Lake Michigan attracts more than 100,000 spectators to Michigan City and its two-mile stretch of beach. City officials estimated that last year’s race had a $12.4 million economic impact on the local economy.
“There are just 35,000 people in Michigan City, so the people are coming from all over to enjoy this event for the weekend,” said Wright. “The people come here to watch the races and the racers are treated like rock stars.
“We have spent a lot of time and effort building this race,” he added. “So it was a pleasure being asked to be part of this series.”
Earlier this month, OPA and Powerboat P1 officials announced that Cocoa Beach, Fla., Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., Sarasota, Fla., and St. Clair, Mich., would be venues for their combined series next year. With the official addition of Michigan City today, one venue remains to be announced.
Speedonthewater.com confirmed the Michigan City addition to the OPA/Powerboat P1 office in London, England.
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