Point Pleasant Beach will host again the Offshore Powerboat Grand Prix on May 21, 2017. Last year event was quite spectacular, and the expectations for this year are even higher!
The weekend’s events start Thursday night with the racers’ welcome party and charity event at Jack Baker’s Wharfside. Friday, the impressive race boats will arrive in town, and the public can see them up close on Arnold Ave. There’s a racer meet&greet at Martell’s Lobster House after 9pm. Saturday is a busy day, with boats testing, practice sessions, and a boat parade on Ocean Ave at 5pm. There’s another meet&greet at 7pm at Jenkinson’s.
Sunday is the big race day! There are 2 races, the first one at Noon, and the 2nd one around 1:45 (though it may be delayed). The course is almost out-and back, going from Martell’s south to Bay Head. While the main beach south of the Tiki Bar is where most crowds will assemble to watch the race, you can find many spots at every beach access going down to Bay Head. Before each race, you can see the race preparations near the Shrimp Box and Wharfside, and then see the boats jump on the waves getting out of the Inlet.
The race favorite is, without any doubt, the Miss Geico boat, a multiple national and world champion. The neon green boat won last year in Point Pleasant Beach, and they’re back to try and keep the streak going.
Challenging Miss Geico is the Alex and Ani boat of Scuderia Cazzani, led by Serafino Cazanni, one of the legends of offshore racing. He grew up among Ferarris and Lamborghinis, and in the late 80’s he wondered why can’t powerboat engines be revved up like the race car ones. He was active in creating new boat engines, and his American Express team went on to win several national titles. Cazzani returned to powerboat racing in 2013, with his own team and a sponsorship from Alex and Ani.
For the 2017 race, Serafino made his goal very clear: “The very accomplished home team and last year’s winner, Miss Geico Racing are clearly a target I intend to vanquish. The multiple world and national champions managed to beat us in every event last year no matter how well we ran. For 2017, we’ve made some significant adjustments and expect to give them a battle in the exciting, close quarters racing Point Pleasant Beach provides.”
So if you can come down the shore to Point Pleasant Beach the weekend of May 19-21, 2017, don’t miss this event, and you won’t regret it. It’s probably a race like you’ve never seen before. You’ll be amazed by the sounds and speeds of these sea monsters. And it’s all FREE!
Why is Pt Pleasant Beach a great venue to watch this race? Cazzani said it best: “This town is an ideal location to showcase our sport. There are many activities, restaurants, the boardwalk and a spectacular beach I would rate as one of finest spectator friendly Stadiums in our sport. You’ll see boats flying the traditionally rough Point Pleasant seas literally 200 feet off the shore which make this site extremely exciting for our fans.”
Stay tuned for more on the Point Pleasant Offshore Grand Prix, and for my discussion with Alex and Ani’s Serafino Cazzani as well as Miss Geico’s Scott Begovich!
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