With last weekend’s Offshore Powerboat Association 2017 National Championships at the Lake Hopatcong Grand Prix in New Jersey in the books, competitors across all OPA classes are looking ahead to the organization’s World Championships in November. But there’s still plenty to savor from yesterday’s action, which saw 44 boats in the fleet.
Miss GEICO was one of 10 teams that earned an OPA National title this weekend. Photo courtesy/copyright Miss GEICO offshore racing team.
The Super Vee, Super Vee Light, Classes 1-7 and Extreme took to the track during five races yesterday, which gave everyone a chance at a fairly open course. Dead flat waters and tight turns resulted in some very close racing.
One of the most impressive runs of the day was by Dale Wright and Josh Wall in their Coastal Boat Sales 24 Pantera. They charged hard from a bad start and first turn to take the win, essentially fighting from last to first in their Class 5 race.
Another dominating run involved Randy Schleuss and driver Tom Crowley in the Typhoon Super Vee Light-class entry. They lead wire to wire, stretching the lead every lap.
In the five-boat Class 4 contest, Saris Racing Engines took first place.
A nasty spinout by Cammo Ammo took them out early, leaving Perdition and Nick's Creative Marine in a stiff battle for second place. Nick Scafidi also debuted his rebuilt Doug Wright catamaran, its first outing since its blow over at the St. Clair River Classic a little more than month a go. Scott Porta and Scafidi took home the Super Stock National Championship with their flawless run in the new boat.
Another extremely special return to the race course was that of Smith Brothers Racing. The World and National Championship family-run team worked furiously all summer to repair it 26-foot Joker V-bottom, which spent a week in the Atlantic ocean after the tragic accident in Point Pleasant, NJ this May. Cheered on by their family members and fans, the team finished in fourth place.
OPA 2016 National Champions
Class 1—Lightning Jacks
Class 2—Bat Boat
Super Vee—Strictly Business
Class 4—Saris Racing Engines
Class 5—Specialized Racing
Class 6—You Gun Learn
Class 7—Goofin' Around
Super Vee Light—Typhoon
For complete results as they become available, visit the OPA website.