Offshore racing zoomed into Michigan City, IN, on Sunday, attracting 51 boats competing in a variety of classes, as OPA/P1 racers rocketed closer to the end of their 2021 season.
Of the four separate races, most of which featured combined classes, the day’s most exciting bout indisputably belonged to Pro Stock Vee in Race 3, which saw four different boats—You Gun Learn, Wazzup, LSB Hurricane of Awesomeness and Relentless—frequently trading off on the lead position. In the end, You Gun Learn (with Dante Napoli and Mikey Bocchino) went from fourth to first, and held onto the lead to nab the unofficial win; it was followed by Wazzup, LSB and Relentless. (Both You Gun Learn and Wazzup are Phantom hulls.)
Race 3 also included a trio of bracket classes: 3, 4 and 5. Team Woody, the 28’ Lavey Craft with driver Jeff Muehlhausen and throttleman Brad Wade, ran uncontested in Class 3. In Class 4, Predator (with Dean Stahlman and Nate Hunt) took the win over Old School and GNS Motorsports and Mean Streak. Old School is currently at the top of the Class 4 points roster. Meanwhile, another Team Woody entry—the 30’ Phantom piloted by Micheal Stancombe and JJ Turk—was victorious in Class 5, followed by Shoreline Plumbing and Bulletproof.
The Super Cat dream team of driver Myrick Coil and throttleman Tyler Miller in MCON bested competitors WHM (with Jay Mueller and Billy Mauff), while Chariots of Fire fell off plane just before finish line with a mechanical failure.
In Modified Vee class, Punisher (with Charlie McCarthy and Anthony Silvera, competing in only their third race this season) caught an early lead and never let go of it for the entire race. Tug It/Pit Viper—one of three boats driven by Brit Lilly in today’s racing—finished second, followed by Boatfloater.com, while competitor Visit St. Petersburg suffered a mechanical failure and was seen under tow. Boatfloater.com driver Stephen Kildahl and throttleman Steve Kildahl remain the current points champions in the class.
Super Stock racing, which was to have featured eight boats, saw LPC Racing scratch early in the day, while Team Allen Lawn Care—which flipped last weekend in St. Clair but was hurriedly repaired in time for today’s race—apparently suffered a mechanical failure minutes before the start. CMR Roofing (with owner/throttleman Shaun Torrente and driver Eric Belisle) grabbed an early lead and never let go of it, while Performance Boat Center and CR Racing unofficially finished second and third, followed by Jackhammer, FJ Propeller and Reliable Services. At press time, the Super Stock points leaders are Myrick Coil and Rusty Williams in Performance Boat Center.
Miss GEICO, the world-champion Victory hull throttled by legendary Sir Steve Curtis, was joined today by triple-duty driver Brit Lilly to grab the win in ClassONE. SV Offshore finished second, while Lucas Oil SilverHook did not finish due to a mechanical issue.
Knucklehead Racing and Marine Technology both ran unopposed in their respective classes, Vee Extreme and Factory Stock. (It was the sixth race this season for Knucklehead driver Edward Smith and throttleman Anthony Smith, and the fifth for Marine Technology driver Taylor Scism and throttleman John Tomlinson; both boats also set kilo records at the recent Tiki Lee Shootout on the River event.)
Bracket Class 6, which must run under 70 mph, saw Rum Runner lead from start to finish. The Larry Smith Scarab hull is driven by Michael McColgan and throttled by Francis Vellutato Jr., who are leading the class in points by a wide margin this season. They were followed by Deception (currently second in points) and Punchin’ Hulls. Bracket Class 7 was won by The Punisher, which was victorious in the Sarasota and Eastlake races earlier this season. In Class 2, Bat Boat (featuring driver Eliot Gray and throttleman Terry Forsythe) triumphed over Team Woody and WeOnTop.com.
All results are pending as officials inspect hulls and GPS systems.
The next races in the OPA series are Morehead City, NC (Sept. 9-12) and Fort Myers, FL (Oct. 7-9), followed by the World Championships in Englewood, FL (Nov. 18-21).