In a press release today, the Key West, Fla.-based Race World Offshore organization released an updated schedule for the 2018 season. The most current planned dates and venues are:
June 2-3—Race World Offshore Gran Prix, venue “TBA.”
June 23-24—Texas Outlaw Challenge, Clearlake, Texas.
July 19-22—Race World Offshore Gran Prix, Greater Cleveland area, Ohio.
August 17-19— Race World Offshore Gran Prix, Dunkirk, N.Y.
September 14-16—National Championship, Riviera Beach, Fla.
“Perhaps it can be called the ‘Silly Season’ for offshore powerboat racing,” the release stated. “Competing series developing their schedules for 2018, well-meaning local news outlets publishing unconfirmed stories and race teams wondering what to do in the coming year. This scenario is not unusual and has played out over the winter months throughout the history of the sport.”
The reference to “local news outlets” stories concerned a Dec. 1 piece in the Key West Citizen in which local tarpon fishing guides expressed concern about the potential effects of the then-planned late-May RWO race on the annual tarpon migration in the area and a Dec. 14 Lake Expo news story regarding permitting issues with the organization’s planned race on the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri in September.
The original events planned for Key West and Missouri are not on the current RWO schedule. The Great Lakes region race also has been taken off the event roster.
“Race World Offshore is now in the final stages of developing its 2018 race schedule,” the release continued. “Our goal is to provide the best venues and experience for our racers and fans. Sometimes that means modifying the schedule to accommodate the varied interests of the racers and the cities that host us. Whether it’s related to specific fishing seasons, manatee considerations or even accommodating the schedules of the Fire and Police departments of each municipality, the principals at RWO are cognizant of these issues and currently working with all parties to optimize our inaugural season’s schedule. We will be updating the remaining dates on the below schedule over the next couple of weeks.”