The past couple of weeks have been up and down for Larry Bleil, the head of the Key West, Fla.-based Race World Offshore organization. On upside, the Supercat Racing group—an organization of Supercat-class team owners—announced that RWO’s Key West Championships will be on its 2020 schedule. That means the entire Supercat class, barring last-minute attrition, will complete in the three-race event, which runs from November 8-15.
Though the 2020 Race World Offshore regular season schedule has changed and could change more, the organization got some good news from the Supercat Racing group for its 2020 Key West Championships. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
On the downside, RWO’s planned contest in Orange Beach, Ala., has been postponed until 2021 and its race on Georgia’s Lake Lanier is far from certain.
The problem with the Orange Beach venue, Bleil explained, was one of logistics. A sponsor generously stepped up to support the event, but reportedly wanted the dry pits to be located on a site some 15 miles from the wet pits, a move neither racers nor fans would have embraced.
“I said, ‘We really can’t do that—it’s just too far away for everyone,’” said Bleil, who recently returned from the annual American Powerboat Association meeting in Seattle where he spent time with fellow APBA Offshore category board members Ed “Smitty” Smith of the Offshore Powerboat Association, Azam Rangoonwala of Powerboat P1 and new APBA Offshore commission chairman Rich Luhrs. “We wanted the dry pits to be in the state park on Orange Beach and so did the organizers. So we are shooting for an Orange Beach event in 2021.”
At issue for the Lake Lanier race, according to Bleil, are availability dates for the contest. “We haven’t cancelled it yet, but the dates are definitely an issue,” he said.
Bleil said RWO’s 2020 event in Dunkirk, N.Y., and Clearwater, Fla., are solid. And those events, plus Key West and the Supercat group’s commitment to it this year, have him feeling good about his organization, as well as the sport itself.
“I am really optimistic about this season,” said Bleil. “I’m feeling very positive. It finally seems like everyone is wanting to work together.”