Coming on the heels of February’s announcement that the Offshore Powerboat Association (OPA) reached an agreement with the American Power Boat Association (APBA) to run under the APBA sanctioning banner (read the story), the OPA announced this week that it will be working alongside the producers of Smokin’ the Sound in Biloxi, Miss., to provide race management, safety and more for the longstanding offshore race.
The Offshore Powerboat Association will be sanctioning the Smokin’ the Sound race in Biloxi, Miss. later this month. Photo courtesy Smokin’ the Sound
The event, which takes place April 24-27 and includes a top-speed shootout on Friday and a poker run on Saturday, is part of the two-race invitational series with Lake Race in early June on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks (ready the story).
“We are so pleased to have Biloxi on board with OPA racing,” said OPA President Ed “Smitty” Smith, who was proud to add Smokin’ the Sound to the newly formed OPA divisional series. “Yes the amount of time we have to organize has put a strain on things, however, with Woody Bailey and his staff hosting races since 2004, it should be an easy transition to work together. We will be working closely over the next few months to align our schedule in 2015.”
Along with enticing cash prizes for all classes at both events, an overall top points champion will be crowned with the winner receiving an additional cash purse, according to Alvin Heathman, who was the driving force in gathering a $75,000 race purse for the inaugural Lake Race last June.
“The event itself isn’t going to change much—we have the same course and the same race village everyone loves about Biloxi,” said Bailey, who is eager to work with OPA, APBA and Lake Race organizers this year. “We are calling this and Lake Race the ‘racer’s races.’ And we have a $75,000 purse to go with it—we’ve never had a purse that large before.
“We’ll be combining the large $40,000 purse for the special ‘run-what-you-brung’ class for canopied V-bottoms and catamarans, with another $35,000 that will be dispersed among the OPA classes,” Bailey continued. “We’re hoping to have a strong turnout of race teams thanks to what Smokin’ the Sound offers as a race site along with a large purse and the officiating and sanctioning provided by OPA.”
Although a list of registered teams isn’t available, rumor has it the Miss GEICO Offshore Racing Team will be at both races, along with other notable race teams.