Returning to Englewood Beach, Fla., for the annual two-race-format Offshore Powerboat Association World Championships always is a pleasure, and not just because we took the Class-4 victory in our Saris Racing Engines V-bottom yesterday. The OPA family has a found a home here, and the local community members welcome and embrace us as part their annual weekend-long Waterfest celebration.
With the first day of racing in the books, the OPA World Championships in Florida resume today at noon. Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Here are some of the highlights from yesterday.
• Miss GEICO dominated Stotler Turbo Engines in the Extreme class. Running their 47-foot Victory catamaran, the Miss GEICO cockpit crew of throttleman Steve Curtis and driver James Sheppard appears to be unstoppable after their the breakthrough Unlimited-class world-title during the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., earlier this month.
• Probably the most fun to watch, the Class 2 race saw Bat Boat take the win over Second Amendment—fresh from an SBI world title of its own—over Bull On The Beach and AMH Construction/Instigator—also fresh from Key West with an SBI world title. The AMH Construction/Instigator team didn’t quite have the legs to take Bat Boat out of the turns but they pushed the Bat Boat crew throughout the contest.
• In Super Vee Lite, Typhoon led wire to wire. Also dominant, the Phantom 9 team claimed victory over Sheriff Lobo and Mr. Technology in Super Vee X (SVX), which is the class for SBI teams running in that organization’s Superboat Vee category.
• In Class 6, we literally had a photo finish between Perdition and Saris Racing Engines. Fortunately for our Saris team, we came out on the right on the end of the photo.
For a look at yesterday’s winners, check out the slideshow above.
• With yesterday’s win, the Super Stock class Shadow Pirate team continued a hot streak that saw it take the SBI Superboat Stock-class world title in Key West.
• Strictly Business prevailed in Class 3, You Gun Learn ran to victory in Class 6 and Whoa Momma took the win in Class 7.
The second round of competition starts today with the first race at noon. Yesterday’s conditions were dead flat, and though it’s supposed to bump up a bit this afternoon we’re not expecting anything rough.
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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