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OPA Race Recap: Lake Hopatcong

The Offshore Powerboat Association kicked off its eight-race season last weekend on New Jersey’s Lake Hopatcong for the first Lake Hopatcong Grand Prix presented by Broadco Restoration. With its “washing machine-like” conditions, the tight, 2.3-mile course left no margin for error among the competitors and created nonstop action that was easy for spectators to follow from all viewing areas.

On Sunday morning, more than 1,000 fans watched the races under clear skies—rain on Saturday was strong enough to force an abbreviated practice schedule—at the Lake Forest Yacht Club. Racing started at noon with Classes 5 and 6.

pirateracinghugeDespite spinning out, Pirate Racing took first place in the SVL class. Photo courtesy/copyright Lucididee Fast Boats

In Class 5, driver Kevin Congdon and throttleman “Fast” Eddie Simmons led from start to finish in Cisco. With new power from Saris Racing Engines, Smith Brothers/CRC started strong in Class 6 but ended up struggling to a sixth-place result with ignition problems. Repeat Offender took the Class 6 win.

In Sunday’s second race, the Super Stock battle was one of attrition. Bull on the Beach, the last boat standing, took first place.

Velocity Racing led from start to finish in Class 4 action, besting defending National Champion and World Champion R&S Racing/Twin Screws Boatwear.

In the final race of the day, the SVLExtreme and Class 1 fleets took to the course. Despite an early race spin out—there were three during the weekend—and tough competition from Tug ItPirate Racing was able to take first place in SVL.

Though the new Broadco cat was sidelined with mechanical issues, the Broadco/Jems boat did compete. Photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.  Though the new Broadco cat was sidelined with mechanical issues, the Broadco/Jemsboat did compete. Photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images

Unfortunately, the much-anticipated debut of Broadco/Restoration, the former Speed Racer pleasure catamaran in Extreme Class, didn’t happen because mechanical issues sidelined the cat. That left Phoenixparts.com to take the victory. In Class 1, Cleveland Construction ran strong throughout the race and prevailed to take the top slot on the podium.

Cleveland Construction took top honors in Class 1. Photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.Cleveland Construction took top honors in Class 1. Photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images

Next up on the OPA schedule is the Heritage Coast Grand in June in East Tawas, Mich.

Editor’s note: Complete results and a full recap from Lake Hoptacong and additional information are available at the Offshore Powerboat Association website.