The Offshore Powerboat Association (OPA) has released its schedule for 2021, and it’s a beefier lineup of venues than in recent years. In addition to a couple of new sites still up in the air, OPA is bringing back a former race in Maryland, on Solomon’s Island, that dropped out a few years ago based on sponsorship complications.
The 2021 schedule (see below) comprises a total of 11 races, including the National Championships in Fort Myers, FL (Oct. 7-9) and the World Championships in Englewood, FL (Nov. 18-21).
OPA’s Nick Smith told Speedboat that looking ahead to next year’s schedule, “we’re just excited because we know how excited everyone else is. If there’s a silver lining to this pandemic, it’s that everybody will really be raring to go for 2021. So we were determined to put out the kind of schedule that’s never done before. It’s going to be a big one.”
Asked if OPA had any fears about the pandemic affecting next year’s schedule, Smith said, “Of course we do. It would be absurd to think that couldn’t happen. But you simply can’t plan for that. You can’t plan that everything’s going to be canceled. You have to plan as if it’s not.”
He acknowledged rumors that OPA was in discussions to stage a race later this season at the Lake of the Ozarks, possibly in October, but that nothing has been made official. “At the moment, it’s simply discussions,” he said.
Despite OPA taking a major hit from Covid-19, Smith said the pandemic won’t dampen the group’s spirit. “We’re still positive,” he said. “We’re still moving forward and doing our best to further the sport. Dealing with the virus has been difficult for everybody, but we’re doing our best to make sure that 2021 looks great.”
The 2021 OPA Schedule: