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Solomons Wrap-Up: OPA National and World Champs Crowned

The Offshore Power Boat Association 2014 season concluded last weekend in Solomon’s Island, Md., with a combined event. Since the race was pushed back for the addition of the Detroit race from the original date, the event became the site of the National and World Championships. However, with such late notice to the volunteers and assets the event would have to take place on Saturday and Sunday, which the boats and teams to the max.

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For the second year in a row, the LSB team took the World title in the Superboat Light Vee class. Photo courtesy/copyright Jeff Gerardi/Freeze Frame Video.

The points breakdown was as follows: Points accumulated during Saturday’s race would count toward the National and World titles. Points accumulated would, combined with Saturday’s points, go toward the World title. With those stakes on the line, 48 teams—OPA’s best turnout of the year—showed up to race and the action that followed did not disappoint.

Class Six has been the battle to watch all year, and the racing action in Solomon’s was not any different. Leading up to the weekend there were three boats in contention for the National title. Early Detection, Sale and Buy and Maxed Out were separated by 79 points, which gave all three teams a shot at the title. For Maxed Out it was a long shot, but the team remained positive, knowing that with a good result on Saturday they could be in contention for a world title.

On the first day, Early Detection jumped out to the early lead with Sale and Buy in Second and Maxed Out in third. (The races were shortened on Saturday by two laps so there was not much time for the second and third place teams.) Maxed Out made an inside pass on Sale and Buy but time ran out for catching Early Detection. Sale and Buy would drop back with a mechanical problem.

Later in the day Maxed Out learned that they only had to beat Early Detection by five seconds and they would be World Champions. On the second day Sale and Buy got the early lead with Maxed Out in second and Early Detection in third. Maxed Out almost made a pass on Sale and Buy but there was a red flag for two racers in the water. At the restart the boats were in the same order until Smith Brothers passed Early Detection putting the needed distance between Maxed Out and Early Detection. The GPS readings told a different story as Maxed Out broke out of its speed bracket six times, giving the World title to Early Detection.

In the Super Vee Light class, Tug It wrapped up the National title on Saturday but a first-time winner was crowned in the class—Punisher was able to get around LSB and Typhoon for the win giving them first win of the year. On Sunday LSB was able to take with win giving them their second world title in as many years.

The Supercat Class had three boats in the field, but all eyes were on Team AMSOIL and Cleveland Construction. Since Cleveland Construction competed in two more events than AMSOIL, the National title was theirs on Saturday as long as they started. AMSOIL broke on the first and Cleveland Construction cruised to a National Title. On Sunday, Cleveland Construction took the World title after Team AMSOIL was penalized for hitting a turn buoy.

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Editor’s Note: Speedonthewater.com thanks contributor Mike Yowaiski (above left), the chief organizer for the Solomons event, for his coverage of the 2014 OPA season.

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