Added to the Offshore Powerboat Association schedule for 2020, the Crystal Coast Grand Prix September 11-13 in Morehead City, N.C., could well end up being a high note in an otherwise fractured and frustrating season. A solid contingent of Super Stock teams reportedly will compete in the Morehead City contest.
If current plans hold, a strong Super Stock-class fleet will show up at the Crystal Coast Grand Prix, which is the second race of the 2020 OPA season. Photos from the 2019 OPA World Championships in Englewood Beach, Fla., by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedonthewater.com.
“Right now, I think we have seven teams who have said they are in and one that has said it’s out,” said Ryan Beckley, a veteran offshore racer and frequent spokesperson for the Super Stock class. “The rest have not replied so far.
“Our guys—at least who are able—just want to go racing,” he continued “Most are chomping at the bit. A few of us who derive income from offshore racing really need these events to happen.”
Echoing those sentiments is third-year Super Stock-class racer Reese Langheim, the owner and driver of the Jackhammer team that fields a 32-foot Victory catamaran. “Heck yeah, we will be there,” he said. “We want to race and make it happen.”
Gary Ballough is planning to run FJ Propeller, his 32-foot Victory cat, in Morehead City.
The Jackhammer team is one of several Super Stock outfits based in the Lake of the Ozarks area of Central Missouri. Other teams from the region either considering or likely to compete in Morehead City include CR Racing and LPC. The 2019 APBA Offshore Championship Series-winning Performance Boat Center team is not currently planning to compete there, according to Osage Beach, Mo., multi-brand dealership’s Brett Manire.
Located on the North Carolina coast, the Morehead City venue has hosted offshore races in years past, including those produced by Super Boat International and the Offshore Super Series.
“Morehead City is a fun little town that puts on a cool stadium-style course inside the bay,” he said. “The course lends itself well to our class.”