Powerboat P1, which produces the single-engine V-bottom Panther/SuperStock raceboat series as well as the Aqua-X personal watercraft circuit, is teaming up with the Offshore Powerboat Association to create the 2019 American Power Boat Association/Union Internationale Motonautique Offshore World Championship Race Series. According to a joint press release from both organizations, “A key aim of the partnership will be to strengthen the future of offshore racing in the United States by providing an expanded, cohesive world-class race series consisting of six race sites with three venues in the Northern states and three venues in the Southern states.
Both Powerboat P1 and OPA run under the APBA, the domestic arm of the U.I.M., powerboat racing’s international sanctioning body.
Headquartered in the Northeast, the Offshore Powerboat Association offers competition in mutliple racing categories from small single-engine V-bottoms to full-size Extreme-class catamarans such as Miss GEICO. Photo from the 2018 OPA Lake Race courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“Our goal was always to further the sport of offshore racing,” said Ed “Smitty” Smith, who has operated OPA since 2003 and has run more than 120 offshore racing events, in the release. “We now have a unique opportunity to unite the offshore race teams in a way that has been missing for a long time.
“Am I excited?” he added. “That would be an understatement.”
Azam Rangoonwala, the chief executive officer of Powerboat P1, which has its United States office in Orlando, Fla., is equally enthusiastic about partnering with OPA in the 2019 series.
Powerboat P1 produces the Panther/SuperStock single-engine V-bottom series (capture here during this year’s P1 contest at Miami Marine Stadium) and the Aqua-X personal watercraft circuit.
“In our initial discussions with the OPA, we have identified a number of areas where we believe a partnership could deliver significant results in terms of the profile of the sport as well as commercially,”Rangoonwala said in the release. “P1 has been involved in offshore racing since 2003 and staged race events in 18 countries. Partnerships are at the heart of our business and our aim is always to create events that excite and entertain, ensuring enjoyment for spectators and TV audiences together with sponsor value and real economic impact for the host venues.”
Added APBA president Mark Wheeler, “This new partnership is an exciting one for the future of offshore powerboat racing in this country and we welcome these ongoing discussions.”
An announcement regarding 2019 race dates and venues is scheduled for next month, according to the release.