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OPA Fleet Approaching 50 Teams For World Championships

With races today scheduled for noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., the Offshore Powerboat Association 2017 World Championships—the marquee event of the annual Englewood Beach, Fla., Waterfest celebration—have attracted approximately 50 entries, according to Super Stock-class throttleman Ryan Beckley.

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Super Vee Lite is looking to be the healthiest class during the OPA World Championships today and tomorrow in Englewood Beach (click image to enlarge). Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

“We have five boats in our class,” said Beckley, who is sharing the cockpit of his 30-foot Cape Haze Marina-backed Skater catamaran with driver John Robinson. “The weather is perfect and the conditions are perfect with two-foot seas predicted today and two- to three-foot seas predicted tomorrow. Our class starts and 3 p.m., as does the Extreme class.”

With CRC/Sunlight Supply a last-minute scratch, according to Beckley, the 2017 Super Boat International Unlimited-class world champion Miss GEICO team will be going one-on-one today with the Stotler Turbo Power team, which until this weekend ran under the Alex And Ani banner, in today’s Extreme-class contest. But in today’s races as well as tomorrow’s, the best action likely will come from OPA’s nine-boat Super Vee Lite class.

“That class has really grown with OPA,” said Beckley. “It’s impressive. It seems like all these kids from New Jersey—well, they’re kids to you and me—are buying Super Vee Lights, and they have created a really great class. There are four Superboat Vee teams here from SBI, but because their engine specs are different—the SBI boat engines have like 100 more horsepower—they’re running them separately. It should be a great day of racing.”

Classes 4, 6 and 7, as well as SVX (SBI’s Super Vee teams), will run in the first race. The second race will feature classes 3 and 5 and Super V Lite. In the final race of the day, the Super Stock and Extreme teams (as noted above) will be joined by the Class 2 group.

Editor’s Note: Look for continuing coverage of the 2017 OPA World Championships on speedonthewater.com.

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