With naturally flavored vodka distiller RocaBella Brands as a new backer, the multi-time national and world championship-winning Smith Brothers team is returning to Offshore Powerboat Association Class 6 action this weekend at the Point Pleasant Beach Grand Prix. New Jersey’s own Rich and Pete Smith will be back in the cockpit of their 24-foot Joker powerboat powered by a 600-hp engine at the famed Garden State venue
The team announced its return today in a post on its Facebook page.
“After the government-mandated shutdowns and business commitments in 2020, the team took a sabbatical from competition,” the post read. “With the lifting of many of the restrictions the team will make its first event of the 2021 Offshore Powerboat Association season.”
The Smith Brothers offshore racing team will be back in action this weekend in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. Photo from the 2018 Offshore Powerboat Association World Championships in Englewood Beach, Fla., by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Though the Point Pleasant Beach Grand Prix isn’t part of the six-race American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series, the OPA season-opener is among the organization’s most cherished and historic events. Its offshore competition roots go back to the 1970s, which makes it ideal for the Garden State team’s return to the sport.
In a separate post, Smith Brothers throttleman Rich Smith praised team’s new sponsor and its “mission” to support the families of fallen first responders.”
“We are honored to be teamed with a company that has a story that hits home with us as New Jersey born boys,” he wrote. “We all suffered through 911, but our suffering doesn’t come close to the families of first responders who lost loved ones at the Towers and of families who continue to lose loved ones in the line of duty. Roca Bella is committed to supporting these families heroes.”
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