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Strong Performances And ‘Firsts’ Highlight Lumpy OPA Ocean City Race

Contested in rough conditions off Ocean City, Md., yesterday, the third race of the Offshore Powerboat Association saw predictably solid performances in OPA’s most competitive classes, as well as a couple of “firsts.”

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AMH Motosports team owner Aaron Hope ran his first Super Cat-class race yesterday. Photos courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.

On the dominant side, the Class 6 Smith Brothers/CRC team notched its third victory of the season. Finishing behind CISCO in Class 5, Specialized Racing backed up its first-place finishes at Point Pleasant Beach (N.J.) and the Lake Race (Mo.) with a second-place result. And the Class 7 Hangin’ N Bangin’ team, which won in Point Pleasant but didn’t compete at the Lake Race, finished first again in Ocean City.

Running uncontested in his new Skater 388 catamaran—the former STIHL boat now competing as AMH Motorsports—with throttleman Anthony Smith, driver Aaron Hope competed in his first Super Cat-class contest in Ocean City. A mechanical issue cut his catamaran-class racing debut short, but that didn’t dull his enthusiasm.

For more action from the OPA Ocean City Grand Prix, check out the slideshow above.

“It was a blast,” said Hope, who previously competed in the AMH Construction/Instigator Fountain V-bottom. “We only got to run three laps, though.”

Another first happened yesterday when Chase and Jax Muller, the teenage sons of offshore racing veteran and multi-time world champion Jay Muller, ran together in the ocean in Class 7. The Chug It cockpit duo, which finished last in the six-boat class, had previously competed in two OPA events on New Jersey’s Lake Hopatcong, but never in open-ocean waters.

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Despite finishing last in their class, the Muller brothers enjoyed their first ocean race. 

“They started sixth and we’re catching up with the pack,” said Jay Muller, who piloted the Miss GEICO catamaran with throttleman Steve Curtis to an uncontested win in the Extreme class. “But they hit a big wave and popped the boat into neutral. They thought they had blown a drive, and by the time they realized what happened the pack was gone. They ended up sixth.

“But they had an absolute blast,” he added. “I don’t know where they are right now, but I think they’re pretty worn out from the weekend. It was their first ocean race and it was every bit of four- to six-footers out there.”

OPA Ocean City Grand Prix Results
Extreme Class: 1. Miss GEICO.
Super Cat: 1. AMH Motorsports.
Super Stock: 1. Shadow Pirate.
Super Vee Lite: 1. Tug It. 2. Typhoon. 3. Done Deal.
Super Vee Extreme: 1. R&S Racing.
Class 2: 1. Bull On The Beach.
Class 3: 1. Wazzup. 2. Strictly Business.
Class 4: 1. American Outlaw.
Class 5: 1. CISCO. 2. Specialized Racing. 3. Tunnelvision.
Class 6: 1. Smith Brothers/CRC. 2 Knot Guilty. 3. Liquid Addiction.
Class 7: 1. Hangin’ N Bangin’. 2. Woah Mama. 3. Tomahawk. 4. Goofin A’Around. 5. Dawson Custom Marine. 6 Chug It.

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