OPGP returns with Sarasota Grand Prix

The Offshore Powerboat Grand Prix Championship returns this weekend with the Sarasota GP, reports Richard Carr.

Two full days of racing

It’s the first time the Sarasota GP has been organised by the OPGP with a number of new features on show as a result.

The powerboat festival will feature two full days of racing over the weekend as well as TV coverage on CBS Sports Network.

The OPGP will team up with Suncoast Charities for Children to host the event with executive director Lucy V. Nicandri telling offshorepowerboatgp.com: “As Festival Director for a race site with a 30-year history, I am looking forward to working with OPGP in planning our 2015 race over the July 4 weekend.

“As a new organization, the opportunities OPGP will be able to offer our charity, other race sites, and race teams is very exciting and will have a significant impact on the sport of powerboat racing for years to come.”

Personal Watercraft

The festival has been going on all week ahead of tomorrow’s Festival Parade of Boats and street part and then Saturday and Sunday’s racing.

Also, for the first time in its history, the racing will include personal watercraft or Jet Skis as they are known in the UK.

National TV

The highly acclaimed Sarasota GP is one of the main events of the powerboat season attracting the best teams and racers. It also attracts one of the biggest crowds with 50,000 people expected from around the world. Its economic impact to the community of Sarasota has been valued at $26 million a year.

It’s for the above reasons why the races will be broadcasted live on national TV in the states. CBS Sports will show the races in two-hour prime time special shows later in July.

About Richard Carr

Richard Carr, of Poole, is one of the UK’s most experienced and successful powerboat racers, who has competed in the sport globally.

He has won numerous domestic and international honours: he became British Class 1 Champion in 1991; he was the winner of the coveted Needles Trophy and he also came second in the Cowes Torquay Cowes race in 1992. It was the year the race was controversially competed in the fog and it has been argued for many years that he actually won the race.

He is known in the sport for his aggressive racing character in rough seas and recently raced in the USA for Geico in 2011.