Set to expire on April 24, Missouri’s stay-at-home COVID-19 mandate was extended yesterday through May 3 by Governor Mike Parson. In turn, the organizers of the Lake Race said today they will announce the fate of the 2020 Lake of the Ozarks contest, which is scheduled for May 28-30, on May 4. The Central Missouri event is the first race of the American Power Boat Association National Offshore Championship Series produced by Offshore Powerboat Association and Powerboat P1 groups.
The decision on producing the 2020 Lake Race is coming down to the wire. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedonthewater.com.
The event’s board of directors issued the following statement today:
“We will continue with plans to move forward with the first race of the 2020 APBA Offshore National Championship Series. A final decision whether to hold the race will be announced on May 4, pending Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state guidelines.”
Veteran offshore Super Stock-class racer Ryan Beckley said he believes his fellow competitors are eager to get the season started, and added that he expects a big-turnout.
“We all just want to go racing and our S-111 team will be there,” he said. “The Stock class has 10 or 11 boats that will be at the Lake Race when it happens.
“The sooner they say it will happen, the better,” he added.
In addition to teams that travel far to compete at the Lake of the Ozarks event, there is a heavy contingent of local teams that come to race on their home water. They include Performance Boat Center, which claimed the 2019 APBA Offshore Championship Series Super Stock title in 2019, M-Con, CR Racing, Jackhammer, Team Allen Lawncare and Landscaping, WIA and more.
“There are very few races around the country where people from our hometown get to actually attend so that means a lot when they get to see what we actually do when we tell them hey we’re headed to a race,” said Myrick Coil, who throttles the Performance Boat Center team’s 32-foot Wright Performance catamaran with driver/fellow PBC employee Rusty Williams. “And having a big group of people coming to a small town helps the economy.”
In novel coronavirus-related move, Mike Yowaiski, the chief organizer of the Solomons Grand Prix in Maryland, officially cancelled the event race for 2020. Originally set for August 28-30, the OPA event was officially postponed on April 1 to create greater flexibility within the dynamic APBA Series schedule.
“This was an extremely difficult decision to make and we looked for other dates,” Yowaski wrote in a post late this afternoon on his Facebook page. “The issue became conflicts with all parties involved on the weekends we had available. A huge thank you goes to our sponsors who stepped up right out of the gate, helping to get it off the ground. Thank you to all of our fans who were so excited to have the races back. There was tons of positive feedback and we hope that can continue for next year. Everyone please stay safe during these difficult times and we will see you next year.”
Editor’s note: The Solomons Grand Prix cancellation information was added to this story shortly after it went live.
Lake Race Board Affirms Commitment To APBA Series Season-Opener
APBA Offshore National Championship Series Makes Schedule Changes
Ongoing COVID-19 Related Coverage