Riding the momentum from a successful 2019 season that included co-producing the inaugural American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series with the Powerboat P1 organization, the Offshore Powerboat Association is expanding its Manufacturers’ Cup award parameters for the 2020 season. The award, which celebrates “the points-winning team as well as its boat,” according to an OPA press release, was launched last season and based on the six races in the APBA series.
Established in 2019, the OPA Manufacturers’ Award went to owner/driver Brit Lilly and throttleman Kevin Smith of the Pro Stock V-class LSB team, which ran a 30-foot Extreme Powerboats V-bottom. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
This year, the award will be based on a team’s best finishes in seven out of 10 OPA races. All 10 on races on the 2020 schedule are eligible.
Presented by the Porta Performance division of Porta Products Corporation, the 2019 Manufacturers’ Award went to owner/driver Brit Lilly and throttleman Kevin Smith of the Pro Stock V-class LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness/ team, which ran a 30-foot Extreme Powerboats V-bottom. After taking top honors in its class in the APBA series, the team went on to claim an OPA World Championship in Englewood Beach, Fla.
“We are super-excited to be the inaugural winner of such a prestigious award,” said Lilly. “We felt it was so deserving that this award celebrated the race heritage of the Extreme Powerboats hull and Mark Spates’ design. We’re gunning for it again this year.”
OPA president Ed “Smitty” Smith said he hopes the award will entice more manufacturers to participate.
“All major race series have manufacturers heavily involved,” Smith said in the press release. “Now it’s time to bring that aspect of our overall competition into our OPA offshore racing venues. We look forward to engaging many more boat manufacturers in our series, and we put this championship at the forefront of our 2020 objectives.”
Flanked by Ed Smith and Manufacturers’ Award backer Scott Porta, team LSB’s Brit Lilly and Kevin Smith accepted the honor. Said Lilly, “We’re gunning for it again this year.” Photo courtesy/copyright OPA.