Sarasota as usual, put on a great festival as well as a 97 boat Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix extravaganza. Over $200,000 was contributed to the Children's Fund, headed by Gene Whipp and an outstanding group of civic minded volunteers. Well done, to everyone.
As in the first year, Jacksonville came back again to host 70 plus race teams with hospitality that have become accustomed to. Pits were relocated to provide a picture perfect setting for the thousands of onlookers and spectators. The race went off without a hitch and the "live" broadcast to Argentina sponsored by SBR and Jacksonville, gave all a "tingle" of what could be the future, if we all continue to work together.
Jay Love, Luis Gutierrez and John Reynolds, Cutting Edge Sports Marketing, provided as promised, the most spectacular race site of the year. A fleet of 70 plus race teams, put on their best behavior to race in the tightest, most spectacular course seen in fifteen years. The place is known as Govt. Cut, South Miami Beach.Narrow with speed zones checked by radar half way up the Cut, then outward bound at full throttle, the spectators could feel the spray from the boats as they passed by no more than 100 feet away. T-shirts expounded "I did the Cut." It was a first class operation as advertised. Jay Love indicated full steam ahead for 1996.
Palm Beach County Offshore Grand Prix, led by Hank Harms and Julia McDonald, are still receiving rave notices from all concerned with the development of this first year event. Garden Mall, one of the most prestigious Malls in the country, played host to our race teams, with the dry pits taking center stage on the Mall property. Our teams looked great amongst the Mall's clients of Sak's, Burdines, Sears, Macy's and many other above scale clients.
The well organized event also provided our teams with the "first" environmental safe boat wash. Placed in the Mall, an array of pumps, tanks for recycling the water and a vinyl carpet to catch the water and return it to the recycler, was impressive to say the least.
Another 70 plus race team teams appearance provided the enthusiastic crowd with some excellent bow to bow racing. The entire community deserves our appreciation. Thanks Hank, great job!
With the 1995 season over, one can reflect that it was a good year. Some 1995 highlights.
I would like to thank all offshore members for your overwhelming show of support. I appreciate your letters, phone calls, and now E-mail responses.
The results in the recent election to the Offshore Racing Commission are as follows:
Congratulations to the winners.
The new Commissioners join Red Crain, Central Commissioner; Bob Teague, Western Commissioner; Sonny Hawkins, Commissioner at Large; Doug McKee, Western Safety Commissioner; Mike Tomlinson, Eastern Safety Commissioner; and APBA President, Fred Hauenstein. The ORC will meet in Atlanta at the APBA Annual Convention. ORC meeting dates are Nov. 17 and 18, 1995. Commission members should make your reservations now.
by Don Jones - Chairman ORC
September 11, 1995
A special meeting of the ORC was called to address two issues relating to 1996 and beyond. ORC Chairman, Don Jones presented a tentative 1996 National Race Schedule. While it is recognized that there could be minor adjustments to the schedule, it is important to give those involved in Offshore racing as much lead time as possible to prepare for the 1996 season. It is additionally recognized that a ten race National schedule is certainly ambitious. However, taking off our racer’s hat and putting on our sponsor hat, it provides the kind of motivation for a sponsor to consider the added exposure and enlarged demographic statistics when deciding on a potential national brand. One specific demographic area is not large enough to carry a national sponsor needs. The ORC is pleased at the increased interest in the ORC National Series, not only for the 1996 Series, but the many inquiries received by the ORC office for possible 1997 venues and beyond. It’s a sure sign that APBA Offshore is providing professional racing programs, offering the best in powerboat performance racing. Of course, the credit goes to the racer’s & members of APBA Offshore, who make it all possible Tentative 1996 National ORC Schedule
(Subject to change until 11-17-1995)
April 12-14, 1996 Galveston, TX May 12, 1996 South Padre Is. TX. June 2, 1996 Ft. Myers, FL. June 22, 1996 Laconia, NH. July 7, 1996 Sarasota, FL. July 21, 1996 Kent Narrows, MD. August 11, 1996 Jacksonville, FL. September 1, 1996 Miami,FL September 15, 1996 Palm Beach County, FL. September 28, 1996 Ventura, CA. October 13, 1996 Las Vegas, NV.
George Linder, ORC Technical Committee Chairman unvailed his proposed technical rules for 1997-99. Before a crowded room of interested racer’s, motor builders, manufacturers and ORC Commissioners, Linder presented his well prepared ideas and suggestions in a symposium format. Everyone in the room had a chance to critique the plans and offer suggestions of their own. ORC Chairman Don Jones presented to the ORC, the goals & objectives of the Technical plan as presented by Linder. The proposed plan was developed to achieve the following:
Linder and the Technical Committee made up of Bob Teague, Sonny Hawkins & John Kenyon, have worked diligently over the past weeks and months to develop technical rules that match the goals and objectives mentioned above. In general terms, the proposed technical plan was well received. The following are highlights presented:
NO TURBO, NO SUPERCHARGING, NO MULTI SPEED TRANSMISSIONS, NO DIESELS.
COMPRESSION RATIOS 9.5 TO 1 EXCEPT IN CLASS I,II & III 12.5 to 1
MAUFACTURER’S Vee: Modified engine specs. with race headers allowed.
PERFORMANCE OUTBOARDS - Factory modified outboard- Mercury 2.5 Offshore no modifications to OEM specs.
GRANDFATHER: Boats not meeting length requirements will be grandfathered. Triple engine outboards will run in Sportsman B. Vee hulls. All interested parties are urged to comment on the proposed 1997-99 technical rules.
Contact George Linder at 516-435-8496 or Fax 516-231-0276.
APBA Offshore continues to grow in numbers and in scope. As the growth continues into the year 2000, it is important to evaluate where we've been, the present status, and prepare plans for the future. Linder brings to the ORC a complete understanding of Offshore racing in addition to an insight on how to blend the technical side with the marketing side. Linder is currently surveying Offshore members for their ideas on how to improve Offshore racing. A three year technical plan, beginning with the year 1997, will be presented at the ORC Commission meeting scheduled for Jacksonville. ORC members may contact Linder at 516-435-8496 and fax him at 516-231-0276. Linder's goal is to develop competitive classes that will enhance spectator interest and sponsorship awareness.
Jones stated, " the ORC is extremely pleased to have George on board. He has the vision that is needed to take us forward",as Linder has stated many times, "it's time to turn the page".
Members of the Technical Committee are Bob Teague, Sonny Hawkins, and John Kenyon.
Frohling and Ravenna met with ORC members in the Super and Open classes to explain new opportunities available in the World Offshore Championship Series. Discussions included the possibility of developing a mini series within the WOC that would begin at an APBA site in Florida, then continuing to Mexico and Cuba, however Puerto Rico was also mentioned. Spring of 1996 is the target date for the first event.
ORC members felt that the meetings were beneficial and several sites indicated interest in hosting a APBA/UIM WOC event. ORC has requested site information which in turn will be sent to APBA sites interested in hosting a major international race.
OPBRA and Cutting Edge Sports Marketing of Miami combined their efforts to get the green light from local authorities to conduct the Labor Day, September 3rd event in the Government Cut at Miami's South Beach. The Promoters, have indicated that "this event will be the biggest and best ORC National Offshore race of the year!!" Headed by President Jay Love, John Reynolds and Luis Gutierrez a four year agreement was inked ,with OPBRA ,with yeoman work being done by Vice President Art Kriner and President Mike, Strickland. The pact provides a firm foundation for the investment of time and money on behalf of the sponsors to develop a major event in the South Florida region. Congratulations to all for a job well done!
Congratulations to Gene Whipp and his entire hard working group of volunteers that produced a
whopping $200,000 donation to the Children's Building Fund. Whipp took me on a whirlwind trip
of the wonderful facilities designed and professionally staffed to aid children that had been abused
and need assistance to cope with emotional and behavioral disorders. One visit is all it takes to
determine the value of this outstading project of love by the Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix. Over
the I I years hundred of thousands of doIlars have been raised and donated to the multi-building
complex, that has become a role model for the rest of the United States. Once again,
congratulations to Gene and the many volunteers who make it possible.
Ninety-three boats registered to paticipate in the annual Suncast Offshore Grand Prix. On Fiday, Jun,, 30th the APBA Kilos were run on Sarasota Bay. When it was all over two A.PBA Offshore records were established. The Jaws Team set a new, Superboat record of 158.452 and Mobile 1 set the APBA C class record of 111.072. Congatulations to both teams for their outstanding feat.
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