This has not been a banner year for offshore powerboat racing. The much-anticipated three-boat turbine class battle never materialized. The Super Vee Light class that could have provided the biggest fleets and the closest racing action deteriorated, for the most part, as the season progressed. The highly touted, at least in the pre-season, television coverage package for Offshore Powerboat Association has been trimmed from six to four episodes that will begin airing in November. Across the board of sanctioning/promotional offshore racing bodies, fleet counts are down.
But regardless of the cutback in TV coverage, OPA has fielded the strongest offshore racing fleets this year. Organizers for the group are hoping that will continue with the Solomons Offshore Grand Prix presented by Bayside Chevrolet Oct. 1-3 in Solomon Islands, Md.
“This is a big motorsports area,” said Mike Yowaiski, who is leading organizing and promotional efforts for the Solomons event. “We have several race tracks, including an international-class motocross track, in the area. People are into motorsports here, big time. We think we’re going to have a big turn-out.”
To help make that happen, the organizers have worked with the Chesapeake Bay Power Boat Association, which is hosting a poker run on Saturday, Oct. 2. Building a poker run into the three-day event could be a smart move for creating interest outside the hardcore racing community.
Three races with three separate start times will be held Sunday.
“I think this will be the best race of the season,” said Yowaiski, who is from the area. “Solomons is perfect for an offshore race, we have a great performance-boat community here, and I think the fans will be really into it.”