With the 35th annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix in the books, the inaugural six-race American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship officially reached its midpoint earlier this month. Three races down, three to go. Next up on the schedule is the St. Clair Classic July 26-28 in Michigan, and if it follows the form of the first three contests—and there’s good reason to expect it will—the event will attract it largest fleet in recent years and produce solid action.
Catching up with the main men behind the inaugural American Power Boat Association Championship Series. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Earlier this month, I tackled a mid-season analysis of the points standings for most of the major classes. Only two teams, the impressive Class 4 Simmons Marine outfit and the new Super Vee-class Instigator By Knucklehead Racing, took the checkered flag in all three races. In all of the other classes, the top three to four teams remain in close battles for championship titles. It’s going to be fun to watch, at least from where I sit as a reporter and a fan.
And as you’d expect based on the first half of the season, Offshore Powerboat Association president Ed “Smitty” Smith Powerboat and Powerboat P1 chief executive officer Azam Rangoonwala, the main men behind the new circuit, are delighted with their progress so far. They might look like offshore racing’s “Odd Couple”—Smith is a tall 62-year-old veteran powerboat racer from New Jersey and Rangoonwala is a not-so-tall 32-year-old Londoner who established the Powerboat P1 SuperStock and Aqua X circuits—but they work remarkably well together.
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