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Venue Production Values

As it should, all glory in offshore racing goes to the winning teams. Next up in the recognition category are the overall series producers such as the Offshore Powerboat Association and Powerboat P1, which combined forces this year to produce the six-race inaugural American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship circuit.

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Without a dedicated lead producer or two at each venue, the inaugural six-race American Power Boat Association simply wouldn’t have happened. Photo from Roar Offshore 2019 in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

But each venue has its own producer/promoter. And without each of them working within their local communities to build consensus and create economic benefit for local businesses and charities, as is only appropriate when a community opens its doors to a race weekend, offshore races would be a whole lot fewer and farther between. Make that nonexistent.

To that end, the APBA series had outstanding lead producers at each site: Kerry Bartlett in Cocoa Beach, Fla., Mike Shepherd and Alvin Heathman at the Lake Race at the Lake of Ozarks in Central Missouri, Lucy Nicandri in Sarasota, Fla., Bob Currier in St. Clair, Mich., Rick Wright in Michigan City, Ind., and Tim and Cyndee and Shepherd in Fort Myers Beach, Fla.

Of course, they all have teams of selfless volunteers on their assorted organizing committees and in the field before, during and after race weeks after. Talk to venue organizers and you’ll learn that bringing an event to their hometowns is a year-long commitment. As soon as one race weekend is done, they start planning for the next one the following year.

In early January, most of the chief organizers from each venue will meet in Sarasota to debrief this year’s APBA Offshore Championship Series and discuss improvements for 2020 circuit.

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Related Story: 2019 APBA Offshore Championship Series Season Coverage