The Solomons Offshore Grand Prix is not like any other race. It is the culmination of the season long grind where some teams can put the cherry on top or those not too far behind can pull an upset and be crowned the 2012 AMSOIL Offshore Powerboat Series National Champion sanctioned by OPA. For the third year in a row, Solomons has been the final stop of the OPA National tour which features race sites from Maryland to Michigan and even competes in Canada. These various sites provide different water conditions from bone rattling high seas of the Atlantic Ocean to the calm flat of lakes and rivers. As shown in all forms of racing, consistency proves the elite from the rest of the pack, a win or two doesn’t hurt either.
After two straight years of monsoon-like conditions, the weather for this year’s event was postcard perfect. On Saturday, Augie Pensa, of the former Jersey Boyz Offshore Race Team, brought back several memories of yesteryear with cooking his famous rib eyes smothered with “Hoboken Eddie’s Sauce”® which he made available to all the teams and fans alike. Testing was going along smoothly until Team Octane had a spin out and sustained unrepairable damage to the SVL point’s leader entering the race.
As the crowds gathered on the Solomons Boardwalk Sunday morning, they came to expect just another day at the races with the family. Jaws were on the ground when the race day was complete. Race 1 provided the most action packed racing of the day with Class 4, SVL, and Class 6. SVL is known as the most drama filled class in all of offshore and on this day, they did not disappoint. Two boats started the race behind the start/finish boat, two boats hit each other which resulted in one spinning out and this was even before Lap 1 was even completed. Tug It completed a spin out on Lap 6 and when the dust had settled, Pirate Racing was awarded the win after extensive review by OPA turn officials and video footage. This ruling allowed Pirate to claim the National title. Class 4 had the best “show” of the day in which Simmons Marine flexed their muscles, but was only able to pull out a one second victory over R&S Racing/Twin Screws, who claimed their first ever National Championship with their second place finish. Knot Guilty entered the race with a narrow lead over Wazzup II for the Class 6 high point’s title. Wazzup II came out and led from Lap 2 on to take the victory and created a tie between the two teams in points. After the tie-break scenario, Wazzup II emerged as the Class 6 National Champion.
Race 2 had the Super Vee and Class 5 competition. In Super Vee, Strictly Business ran a flawless race and claimed the victory over eventual National Title winner, Wazzup. Class 5 was a see-saw battle all day, but the worst enemy of all was the flat conditions, which caused several teams to break out of their bracketed speed of 75 mph and after the readings of the GPS’s, Saris Racing came out on top with National Points winner Pushin Tin extending their season of consistency by finishing second.
The Extreme Class consisting of Semper Fi Glass Cleaning and Miss Geico were the headline acts in Race 3 with Semper Fi bringing turbine engines to the table and Miss Geico down approximately 1000 hp to them with their new piston powered boat. Miss Geico took the early lead, but when Semper Fi settled in, they took over and claimed the victory. In Cat Lite and Class 1, it was winner take all for their respective class’s National Points title. PhoenixParts.com in Cat Lite and Cleveland Construction in Class 1 dominated from wire to wire to claim both the win as well as the National Championship. With the win in Cat Lite, PhoenixParts.com claimed the Overall High Points Title for the whole AMSOIL Offshore Powerboat Series which awards them the Stugots Cup. In Class 3, Bull on the Beach took the victory as well as the National Points title in their class.
Special thanks go out to Mike Yowaiski, the city of Solomons, Maryland, and the C.B.P.B.A. for rolling out the red carpet as always. Congratulations go out to the race winners as well as the National Champions in each class. The 2012 National Season is over, one more to go, the Palm Beach World Offshore Championships, October 18th – 21st , in Jupiter, Florida. All points reset to zero and with the two race scenario, the best of the best will emerge on top. Can the National Champs back up their season long dominance? Stay Tuned ….