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Punisher, Team Woody, Rum Runners Win in 1st Day of OPA Finals

The OPA World Championship races kicked off in Englewood Beach on Saturday morning, with 13 classes and a total 67 registered teams scheduled to compete all weekend. 

Eleven Bracket Class 7 teams ran alone for nine laps (limited to 60 mph) during the first race, with #700 Punisher leading for most of the race; the 22’ Velocity was driven by Derek Dawson of Camdenton, MO, and throttled by Beau Purtle. Hangin N Bangin came in second, and Progression came in third. All results in bracket classes are unofficial, pending GPS inspection. 

The day’s second race saw bracket classes 3 and 6 running together. Team Woody (Class 3) and Rum Runners (Class 6) were in the lead when Vroom Vroom/MDG apparently spun out and ejected driver Taylor Esh and throttleman Jason Govatos into the water, causing a red flag on the race. Action on the course stopped for roughly 20 minutes while the rescue team snapped into action, and racing commenced. After the restart, Rum Runners (with driver Michael McColgan and throttleman Fran Vellutato) held onto its lead to unofficially finish first in Class 6, followed by Team CRC/Smith Brothers and Moderation. Likewise, Team Woody (with driver Billy Shipley and throttleman Chad Woody) held onto their Class 3 lead to unofficially finish first, followed by Reindl Powerboats and Elite Home Game Rooms. Typhoon (Class 3) dropped out of the race, while Deception (Class 6) did not start.

Four more races are scheduled for later today.

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