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HomeRacingWildfire-Driven Air-Quality Concerns Force Point Pleasant Beach Grand Prix Cancelation

Wildfire-Driven Air-Quality Concerns Force Point Pleasant Beach Grand Prix Cancelation

Slated for this weekend, the Offshore Powerboat Association Point Pleasant Beach Grand Prix in New Jersey has been canceled courtesy of the 150-plus wildfires in Quebec, Canada. Smoke from those still-uncontained blazes has inundated much of the Northeast producing unhealthy air quality throughout much of the region.

A traditionally high-flying affair, this weekend’s Point Pleasant Beach Grand Prix has been called off due to air-quality issues in the Northeast. Photo from the 2018 event by Tim Sharkey copyright Sharkey Images.

A typically bumpy to extremely rough race, the Point Pleasant Beach Grand Prix is among the crown jewels on the annual OPA schedule. Announced via email to members of the New Jersey-based organization as well as on its Facebook page, the decision to scrub the event was not made lightly.

“The developing situation with smoke, visibility, travel delays and air-quality alerts due to the Canadian wildfires has caused significant problems along the East Coast specifically for the event and the town, all of which are outside of OPA’s control,” the announcement explained. “Safety for our teams and fans are number one and when we’re this close to a great event start this decision hurts in the place we call home.

The announcement also stated that “there is still an opportunity to reschedule the race.” Speedonthewater.com will report the new dates for the event if they are reset.

“We’ve been working nonstop getting the new Moderation boat ready for the race,” said Johnny Saris, a veteran offshore racer and member of Team Saris Performance Marine in Bolton Landing, N.Y. “As heartbreaking as it is for us to not be able to go, it’s even tougher for the people putting on the event.

“It could be worse though,” he added. “We could be in Canada losing our homes.”

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