For the second year in a row, the cities of Port Huron, Michigan, USA and Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, teamed up and promoted the International Offshore Powerboat Race. On Thursday evening, approximately twenty teams caravanned into the site throughout the streets of Port Huron to the cheers of the awaiting fans. Desmond Landing hosted the Race Village which showcased all the hardware of the participants, a concert featuring local bands, and even the first annual golf cart mud bog in the parking lot which was won by the pit manager, Brian Kowalski. Inclement weather did its best to hinder the weekend’s festivities, but the teams and fans didn’t let a little bit of rain dampen the spirits of Race #4 on the AMSOIL Offshore Powerboat Series.
Friday evening provided one of the bigger surprises with Louie Giancontieri, of Strictly Business V-6 fame, hopping on stage for a jam session on guitar and vocals with the house band. The standing room only crowd enjoyed the session and hoped for more. On Saturday, the teams paraded over to the Sarnia Bay Marina by water in their race-boats for a meet and greet session with the Canadian fans. After customs was cleared, the docks filled up and allowed the Canadian fans to get an up close view of the impressive machines and racers that would be participating in the race on Sunday. Upon the return to the American side, the racers had another meet and greet with American fans which kept them busy for hours on end, to the point that some of the racers were worried about the race the following day from getting writer’s cramp with all of the autographs they signed.
Sunday provided clear blue skies which enhanced the clear blue water that this region is known for. Race 1 showcased the action of SVL and Class 6. SVL was tightly contested for the first few laps, but Team Octane showed the way from start to finish accomplishing their second straight victory. Class 6, which provides the largest fleet on the AMSOIL Offshore Powerboat Series, had to walk the tightrope through the first turn, but as things settled into place and the GPS units were read the Joker Powerboats/CRC 611 team emerged on top.
Race 2 included Super Vee, Class 3, Class 4, and Class 5. In Super Vee, Wazzup Racing Engines led from start to finish as did Simmons Marine in Class 4 and Pushin Tin in Class 5. Class 3, however, provided the most exciting race action of the day. Bull on the Beach, which is a 32’ Skater catamaran with twin 750 hp engines, competed against the Crockett Rocket, a 26’ conventional Vee with a reported single 850+ hp Crockett Marine power plant. Bull on the Beach had the clear advantage in the straights, but the Crockett Rocket made up the gaps on the turns. The battle went back and forth for seven laps until the realization that a normal outdrive can’t withstand the rigors of that much power and the Crockett Rocket was forced to retire giving Bull on the Beach the victory.
Race 3, the final race of the day, consisted of Extreme, SCL, and Class 1. The battle of attrition in Class 1 was won by Lightning Jacks over hometown hero, Cleveland Construction. PheonixParts.com ran a flawless race and took home the crown in SCL with Cat Can Do taking the honors in the Extreme class.
Special thanks go out to the cities of Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario for working together and providing the racers and fans with one of the most exotic sites in all of offshore. Congratulations go out to all the winners and we hope to see everyone at Solomons, Maryland for the next stop on the AMSOIL Offshore Series, sanctioned by OPA on September 13th through September 16th. This event will crown each classes National Champions as well as the Overall High Points Champion for OPA.
For the complete results and more information about the Offshore Powerboat Association (OPA), go to www.oparacing.org