(Ocean City, MD) - The Bull on the Beach Offshore Grand Prix was the first stop of the AMSOIL Offshore Powerboat Series sanctioned by OPA Racing. Ocean City is the first event of a seven race series.
After a two-year absence, the once annual Offshore Powerboat races came back to Ocean City in 2012. Bull on the Beach owner Phil Houck was instrumental in bringing the event back to Ocean City this year. “I love offshore racing. It’s just an exciting sport. I’ve been racing 15 or 16 years,” said Houck. “[The event] helps promote the sport and the town of Ocean City, so it’s great for the community.” The Bull on the Beach team was be led by driver Bob Anselmo and his brother, Jim, the throttleman. The boat, owned by Houck, is a 32-foot Skater.
Atlantic Hotel owner Bull Purnell III, opened the family hotel early this season to host the racers, crews and their families. The Atlantic Hotel is located at 5 Somerset Street, Ocean City. Bull Purnell also leads an offshore powerboat team, Wanted Racing. Bill is the owner/throttleman and Bobby Baumgarten is the Driver.
The ocean race course ran from 4th Street to 34th Street. “We love Ocean City. It’s one of our favorite sites because the races are in the ocean,” said Ron Polli, OPA Racing’s Race Control director.
Before the races, fans were invited to the Race Village at the public boat ramp and parking lot, across from Crab Alley restaurant, on Golf Course Road in West Ocean City throughout the weekend to take a closer look at the boats and to meet the crews.
Fans were also invited to attend “Meet & Greet” parties for the racers and their teams at Wild Bill’s on Baltimore Avenue near Wicomico Street in downtown Ocean City & Crab Alley at 9703 Golf Course Road, West Ocean City.
On race day, boats will line up in the West Ocean City Harbor and proceed to the racecourse through the inlet to the starting area. The boats will race in different categories based on size, power and speed.
On Sunday there were speedboats vying for valuable points in a successful kickoff to the 2012 OPA Racing season. Thirty boats competed in seven classes. The first race started at noon with three classes competing on the course (Class 500, Class 600 & Super Vee Lite). The second race started at 2pm with four classes competing on the course (Cat Lite, Class 100, Class 300 & Class 400).
The race course was approximately 4 miles with each class having a set amount of laps. The race course proved to be challenging with 4’-5’ wakes. This proved to be a race about speed and endurance. Mother Nature took out her fury on some of the boats when the wind picked up and the wakes just seemed to be getting bigger. But at the end of the day, Ocean City proved to be what it is, a great place to have an offshore powerboat race.
Winners of the day are: CAT LITE: 388 PhoenixParts.COM; CLASS 100: 105 Lightning Jacks; CLASS 300: 311 Chiro One; SUPER VEE LITE: 51 Wild Ride; CLASS 400; Twin Screws; CLASS 500: 568 Mighty Mac; CLASS 600: Maxed Out Motorsports