Gone from the Miami area for more than a decade, offshore powerboat racing is slated to return to the South Florida city on Saturday, May 7, in advance of the following day’s inaugural Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix. The event, which has been dubbed the 2022 LuminSea Offshore Powerboat Races by its organizers, will feature four contests throughout the day on an eight-mile, illuminated Atlantic Ocean course off famed South Beach.
A marine lighting technology company that manufacturers illuminated channel markers, LuminSea is owned by John H. Ruiz, who purchased Cigarette Racing Team in late 2021. Among his goals since acquiring the iconic Opa-locka, Fla.-based high-performance powerboat company was returning Cigarette to the offshore racing realm. To that end, Cigarette was the presenting sponsor for the 2021 Race World Offshore-produced American Power Boat Association/Union Internationale Motonautique Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., and reportedly has a five-year deal with Race World Offshore and is one of the lead sponsors of the Miami Beach event.
“Powerboat racing came to life on Thunderboat Row and is still synonymous with some of the top powerboat builders in the world, including Cigarette Racing,” said Ruiz in a press release this morning. “Miami is where powerboat racing got its start, so it’s time to bring it back to our own backyard and become part of Speed Week festivities.”
Though the upcoming Miami races are not sanctioned by the APBA or the UIM—nor are they part of the APBA Offshore National Championships Series that kicks off May 19-22 in Cocoa Beach, Fla.—they are open to four classes than run under their umbrella. The first contest, which is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m., is for Stock V teams. Next up is a Production-class race followed by races in the Super Stock and Super Cat classes.
The LuminSea course is eight miles long.
According to the release, the Production-class contest should appeal to experienced high-performance powerboat owners as it offers them “the opportunity to showcase their vessels and talents on the racecourse in a staggered-start, timed event.” All brands, from Apache to Skater, are welcome. (Details are available on the event website.)
Prize money for each contest is $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second place and $1,000 for third place. Registration for all four classes is open via the 2022 LuminSea Offshore Powerboat Races website.
For powerboat-owning fans, the organizers are offering an on-water “VIP Experience” within the racecourse for the day, as well as several land-based VIP opportunities.
In addition to Cigarette, sponsors include Chief Marine Group, Florida Yachts International, LifeWallet powered by MSP Recovery (another Ruiz-owned company), The Firm Realty Group and Top Gun Yacht Sales. Sponsorship opportunities are still available, according to the event website.
Said Stock-class offshore racer and LuminSea Offshore Powerboat Races coordinator Pete Riviero, “By being a part of Speed Week, leading up to the F1 Series, we are bringing another element to this already exciting week and providing boat enthusiasts an incredible offshore experience.”
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