“They built this spectacular hotel/casino/marina on the tiny island of Bimini and it needs to get exposure,” Berkon said in the release. “Bringing the OPA/APBA Offshore Racing Series to this world class resort just makes sense. We’ll televise this race nationally across the United States with an hour-long show on a major network that will give the resort the exposure that it needs. There’s just no better way to show off their marina, guest and banquet facilities to a national audience of boating enthusiasts. Hopefully this will become an annual event for the next few years.”
Focus TV Productions has been contracted to film and televise the event, according to the to release. The outfit reportedly has “more than 30 years of experience filming offshore races,” and the organizers and promoter plan to have the air on a national channel approximately one month from completion.
“The big obstacles with a race outside the U.S. are the transportation of the race teams, the insurance, customs and other unknowns,” said Ed “Smitty” Smith, the OPA president, in the release. “Fortunately, Bimini is only 50 miles from Florida and Roger has access to a ferry boat (in Fort Lauderdale) that can hold about 20 teams per trip. The size of the teams rigs will determine exactly how many boats can make the trip. We are hoping to bring roughly 40 boats, so if you want to go, register now and get on the list.
“This is huge for OPA,” he continued. “We race between the U.S. and Canada when we race in St Clair and Port Huron Michigan and now we are going to the Bahamas. And the best part is that our friends from the Chesapeake Bay Powerboat Association just happen to be holding a Poker Run from Fort Lauderdale to Resorts World Bimini on the exact same weekend, so we partnered with them as our support fleet. They’ve worked with us many times at our races in Ocean City and Solomons Island (Maryland) so they know what to do and how to do it.”