When the green flag flies in Cocoa Beach, Fla., this Sunday for the season-opener of the American Power Boat Offshore National Championship Series, it will be under the ever-observant eyes of a new chief referee with a familiar name—and legacy. Geoff Tomlinson, the dealer manager for Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats in Fort Myers, Fla., and the son of legendary former offshore racing chief referee Mike Tomlinson, has taken on the important and often-challenging role.
Geoff Tomlinson, the dealer manager for Nor-Tech, is excited and honored to be taking on a crucial job in the offshore racing world.
Azam Rangoonwala, the chief executive officer of United Kingdom-based P1 Offshore and Powerboat P1, worked with Tomlinson’s father from 2012 though 2016 on the P1 USA SuperStock Championship series. He described Geoff Tomlinson as “experienced, calm and decisive.”
“Geoff did an outstanding job as chief referee at the Travis Pastrana P1 Invitational event earlier this year,” Rangoonwala said.
Tomlinson, who is 41 years old, grew up in the high-performance marine industry. His father owned a thriving Eliminator Boats dealership in Fort Worth, Texas. After a long tenure at Fountain Powerboats, Tomlinson went to work in marketing for Lexus U.S.A.before joining Nor-Tech in 2017.
Near the end of 2020, Rangoonwala and P1 Offshore’s Michelle Petro approached Tomlinson about taking the chief referee position.
“Of course, I wanted to be involved,” he said. “I grew up around boat racing and I’ve always been interested in the sport, so to be asked to be chief referee really meant a lot to me.
Flanked by his father, Mike, and Super Stock-class offshore racing veteran Ryan Beckley, Geoff Tomlinson is ready for this weekend’s APBA Offshore National Championship Series season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
“I’m looking forward to Cocoa Beach—it’s such a great venue—as my first full race as chief referee,” he continued. “We have a great number of boats coming and the racers are excited to be competing again.”
Mike Tomlinson will be on hand this weekend to enjoy the races while his son is working.
“Having him there will be nice,” Geoff Tomlinson added. “It does mean a lot to me to continue his legacy.”
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