With the team’s anticipated offshore racing season opener being the first of the two remaining American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series races in Cocoa Beach, Fla., in August (the other is the Roar Offshore event in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., in October), the owners of Team Woody Offshore Racing—Billy Shipley and Chad Woody—are excited to announce they are going to have new teammates join them at the five events on the team’s calendar.
After growing to three boats last fall, Texas-based Team Woody is looking forward to a fun and competitive 2020 offshore racing schedule with a couple of new teammates. Photo courtesy Billy Shipley
Joining Shipley and Woody, who plan to run the Class 3 Fountain Powerboats 35-foot canopied V-bottom they acquired and started racing midway through the 2019 season that culminated in winning the class title at the Offshore Powerboat Association World Championships in Englewood, Fla., in November, to drive the team’s Class 5 30-foot Phantom Boats open cockpit V-bottom are veteran offshore racers, Micheal Stancombe and J.J. Turk. The team’s third boat—the original one Shipley and Woody started racing a few years ago, the Class 4 28-foot LaveyCraft canopied V-bottom—is going to be driven by Jeff Muehlhausen and Brad Wade.
“We can’t wait to get out there and show everyone what Team Woody is all about this season,” said Shipley, adding that the Texas-based team plans to compete in the Cocoa Beach and Fort Myers Beach contests along with the Race World Offshore-produced events in Clearwater, Fla., in September and Key West, Fla., in November, and the OPA World Championships in Englewood, which also is in November. “We’re somewhat disappointed that we’re not racing a full season, especially because we aren’t going to Michigan City (Ind.) this year, which is probably our favorite race venue. We were bummed when that one was cancelled. We plan to make the most of this season either way. All three of our boats should be good to go before Cocoa Beach.”
Shipley and Woody said that the team plans to host a season kick-off party at JT’s Social Bar, which is part of the La Quinta Inn of Cocoa Beach that Turk’s family owns. They said the gathering, which is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 27, is going to serve as a celebration of Team Woody’s 2019 OPA world championship as well.
“With the guys we have on the team now, I have a feeling this season is going to be a lot of fun,” Woody said. “They have a lot of experience, plus they’re all good mechanically so we’ll have more hands in the pits if something needs to be fixed.”
Team Woody earned the Class 3 championships at the 2019 OPA World Championships in its 35-foot Fountain. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
When asked if he ever anticipated having a three-boat race team, “absolutely not” was Woody’s answer.
“I still don’t know if it’s a good idea,” he continued and laughed. “We’ll find out soon enough. We definitely have a lot more spare parts now, which is a good thing. We also have a new big sport trailer we’re looking forward to using this season.”
Woody said the team spent a lot of time in the offseason going through all three of the boats to make sure everything was in as good of condition as possible on each one.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to race the Team Woody Phantom with Mike; it’s going to be a lot of fun and I believe we can be very competitive,” said Turk, who owns the No Vacancy Offshore Racing team that he put on the back burner last season to join Robert Winoski in Bronx Phantom, Winoski’s 30-foot Phantom. “Last year I raced in Bronx Phantom with Robert and we did pretty well. (The team finished second at the OPA World Championships and first overall in the OPA National Points Championship). I love the Phantom hulls and have a good amount of seat time in them.”
Turk said he first met Stancombe through his former No Vacancy teammate, Travis Lofland, and that he hit it off with him right away.
“I expect Mike and I to be able to communicate really well in the boat,” Turk added. “I have some experience in Class 5 and I think we have the boat and the skill set to win some races. So now instead of me beating Billy and Chad on the course, I can beat people for them instead.”
Turk laughed, something he can expect to do a lot of this season.
“I’ve known J.J. for a long time—we’ve done a lot of things through RC racing together recently, too,” said Stancombe, who owns Pro Marine RC as well as Peppers Bar and Grill in Indianapolis. “So when the opportunity to go racing with Billy and Chad came up, we immediately thought of J.J., and he was game. I think this is a great opportunity for both of us.
“I think it works out well for Chad and Billy, too, because we bring some sponsors along with us,” he added. “We plan to run the boat like it is our own and take care of it like it’s our own. It’s a competitive class, but I think we can come up with the right strategies to find success. I’m excited about this. I know J.J. has a good head on his shoulders. I can see us being cockpit partners for years to come.”
Stancombe said he and Turk are also trying to work it out so their sons can come to the races this season and give it a go in a Class 7 boat.
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