Offshore Powerboat Racing Set To Return

Offshore Powerboat Racing Set To Return
The Bull on the Beach will unveil its new boat pictured above when it hosts the Offshore Grand Prix powerboat races in Ocean City next weekend. Submitted photo

OCEAN CITY- The grand spectacle of offshore powerboat racing returns to Ocean City next weekend with the Bull on the Beach Offshore Grand Prix.

Bull on the Beach is teaming up with Offshore Powerboat Racing (OPA) to bring the Ocean City grand prix race back to Ocean City next weekend, Friday, September 8 to Sunday, September 10. For each of the last two years, Bull on the Beach fan favorite Phil Houck has scheduled an OPA race in Ocean City and each has been canceled by foul weather and rough conditions.

Offshore powerboat racing has been a staple of the resort’s shoulder seasons off and on for the last decade or so with the OPA making stops in the resort as part of its summer-long racing series. Next weekend’s scheduled race is sponsored in part by the Bull on the Beach, Crab Alley, the new Park Place Hotel, Worcester County, the town of Ocean City, the Dispatch, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Judith M.

Offshore racing is not just a visual experience. Beachgoers will be able to hear the roar of the engines as the powerboats pass and leap skyward through the unpredictable waves at speeds up to 160 miles per hour. The Bull on the Beach team will compete again this year for the first time since 2013 and will feature its new boat for the first time ever. The Bull on the Beach won the national championship in 2011 and the world championship in 2010.

The event gets underway next Friday at the race village near the public boat ramp at the commercial harbor in West Ocean City across from Crab Alley, which will host many of the welcoming parties, meet-and-greets with the racers and awards banquet throughout the weekend. The race village is open again on Saturday with several special events and the powerboats on display.

The real action gets underway next Sunday with two scheduled races. The participating boats will depart the race village area in West Ocean City and will travel single-file through the Inlet and up to the start-finish line at North Division Street. The first race will begin around noon with the course set in a modified rectangle from North Division Street to 20th Street. The Judith M will be the official start-finish boat. The best viewing area will be the new Bull on the Beach restaurant on the Boardwalk between 2nd and 3rd Streets. The weekend-long series of events will conclude with an awards banquet at Crab Alley on Sunday.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.