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HomeRacingPhoto Essay: OPA Teams Soar In Point Pleasant Beach

Photo Essay: OPA Teams Soar In Point Pleasant Beach

Between its own events and those of the six-race American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series, the New Jersey-based Offshore Powerboat Association has a slew of contests on its 2021 schedule. Appropriately so, the OPA-specific season kicked off last weekend in Point Pleasant Beach, a famed Garden State venue known for dishing out rough water. And Sunday’s race did not disappoint with four- to five-foot seas and what photographer Tim Sharkey described as “big holes.”

The Rum Runner team of Michael McColgan and Fran Vellutato bested three other Class 6 teams to take the checkered flag. Photos by Tim Sharkey copyright Sharkey Images.

“It was just bumpy enough,” said Johnny Saris, who took the Class 4 checkered flag with his father, Jason, in the Saris Racing Engines raceboat after nine laps on the 4-1/2-mile course ahead of Tsunami’s Russ Breuninger and Bruce Dimpflmaier and Rob Lauer and Brian Williamson in Perdition.

The 27-boat fleet included 10 Stock V class teams, with Kyler Miller and Jay Wohltman of Speed Marine taking first place in the 10-lap contest, followed by Chris Uzzolina and Rob Hartmann in Nobody’s Business and brothers Nick and Anthony Smith—the sons of OPA president Ed Smith—in Wazzup.

But the larger and even more-welcome story for the Stock V class in Point Pleasant Beach was the large turnout, which previously saw five teams at Thunder On Cocoa Beach and one team at the Lake Race and, the first two events of the APBA series.

For more images from the 2021 Point Pleasant Grand Prix check out the slideshow above.

With five teams in the fleet, Class 7, which ran four laps, had the second-largest group of the event. The On A Mission cockpit duo of Ken Bird and his daughter, Kaleigh, finished ahead of Matt and Joe Lauer in Goofin’ Around and the Chug It team of Chase and Jax Muller.

Set for seven laps, Class 6 saw a four-boat turnout with the Rum Runner team of Michael McColgan and Fran Vellutato, Moderation’s John Saris, Rich and Joe Smith in Smith Brothers and Jason and Jay Muller in Wicked. They finished in that order.

Two teams—Agora Day Spa and Shoreline Plumbing—duked it out in Class 5 for eight laps. Agora Day Spa’s Mark Henderson and Eddie Simmons took the checkered flag ahead of John Coen and Ben Appiarius in Shoreline Plumbing.

Single-boat class winners include Knucklehead Racing in Vee Extreme, Bounty Hunter in Class 1 and Strictly Business in Class 2.

Mark Henderson and Eddie Simmons flew Agora Day Spa to first place in Class 5.

All results are unofficial pending final Offshore Powerboat Association confirmation. Look for complete results when they become available on the OPA website.

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