With potentially dangerous conditions in the marine forecast for its Ocean City Grand Prix in Maryland, the Offshore Powerboat Association has cancelled the upcoming Sept. 8-10 event race. The event was to be the seventh contest of the OPA season.
OPA teams such as Strictly Business (shown here at the 2017 Lake Race) will have to wait for the Lake Hopatcong Grand Prix in New Jersey later this month compete before the organization’s world championship in November. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
The threat of high seas comes from Hurricane Irma, which according to a report on The Weather Channel website is a Category 3 storm that could reach the Category 4 or 5 by early next week. While the Weather Channel report would not speculate on the possible effects of the hurricane—currently is in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean—on the East Coast, the potential threat was enough for OPA to cancel its Maryland contest.
The organization sent out a brief statement release this afternoon that read: “Sorry to say, we must cancel the offshore powerboat race this weekend (Sept 10) because of Irma … six- to eight-foot waves is not good, safety must come first. Thanks for all the help. Will try again next year.” An OPA official confirmed the cancellation.
The weather-created cancellation is the second in the past two years for OPA’s Ocean City race. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew forced OPA to the scrub the event.
The final race of the OPA regular season, the Lake Hopatcong Grand Prix is set for Sept. 22-24 in New Jersey. The organization will hold its world championships Nov. 15-19 in Englewood, Fla.