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7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix Wrap Up: Wild Weather, Eight Laps and Five Crashes

When the 65 offshore powerboat racing teams and fans in Marathon, Fla., awoke this morning they were greeted by an ominous message: “Tornado watch for the Southern Keys.”

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The inaugural 7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix proved that no matter how much we prepare, Mother Nature is still in charge. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix .

That set the tone for a day of racing that was going to challenge the officials from Race World Offshore and the American Power Boat Association in ways they had never imagined. After two boats in the 450R Factory Stock class flipped or blew over in barely two laps of competition on Sunday afternoon, officials put an end to the carnage by canceling competition for the rest of the day. The decision was made by RWO and APBA officials with input from the United States Coast Guard.

“It was a matter of safety and the decision of the Coast Guard,” said RWO president Larry Bleil.

“And common sense,” added APBA Offshore chairman Rich Luhrs.

The first race of the 2023 APBA offshore national series, the 7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix was backed by Performance Boat Center and M CON offshore racing. Sixty-five teams showed up in Marathon, Fla., and there was a buzz of positivity about the upcoming season in the air. There were nine boats registered for the Super Cat class. Mod V and Super Stock both had double-digit entries and the 450R Factory Stock fleet felt like it was growing by the week.

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Saturday’s pole-position qualifying round was all fans would see of the Super Cat class this weekend.

While the bracket classes and the Super Cats had chamber-of-commerce conditions for racing and pole-position qualifying on Saturday, Mother Nature had other plans for Sunday. Winds gusting well over 25 mph and rain whipped across the course all morning and by the time the two boats had incidents in 450R Factory Stock, the race officials and the Coast Guard had seen enough and called off competition for the weekend.

No Sunday Picnic The 450R Factory Stock race started with six catamarans powered by Mercury Racing 450R outboards. Three of the boats were Marine Technology Inc. 39-foot catamarans and three were 38-foot Doug Wright cats. The lanes were determined by a blind draw and the 38-foot Doug Wright catamaran, Doug Wright Powerboats, with throttleman Ricky Maldonado and driver 18-year-old Logan Adan, was on the outside in lane six. To the team’s left on the inside were John Tomlinson and Taylor Scism in the 39-foot MTI, Marine Technology, Lee Murray and Edwin Scheer in the 38-foot Doug Wright, Hank’s Saloon , and the 39-foot MTI, GC Racing, with driver Willie Cabeza and throttleman Gary Ballough. Also on the inside, were throttleman Nick Imprescia and driver Ian Morgan, who are new to the class, in the 39-foot MTI, 151 Express.

When the boats headed toward turn one, it appeared on video footage that Doug Wright Powerboats started to move to the inside from lane six. Marine Technology and Hank’s Saloon both turned right through Doug Wright Powerboats’ roostertail to avoid a collision.

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Marker 17 Marine led for much of the Mod V race until the team’s 29-foot Outerlimits donated a Bravo XR drive to the sea floor.

In the he-said, he-said that was sure to follow, Maldonado said, “I left everyone plenty of room.”

Murray, an offshore racing veteran returning to the sport after a lengthy absence, didn’t mince words. “They didn’t maintain their lane,” he said of Doug Wright Powerboats.

Apparently the ABPA agreed with Murray because the results released after the race showed that Doug Wright Powerboats was disqualified. That gave the win to Tomlinson and Scism in Marine Technology followed by 151 Express and Hank’s Saloon . GC Racing rolled after trying to cut under Hank’s Saloon in a turn and Ballough said it was simply a racing incident.

When the red flag flew, Murray and Scheer caught a gust of wind and stood their boat straight up before coming down on the transom and flopping backwards, landing upside down. Both escaped the incident unharmed and, despite the carnage, said they were pleased with how the boat ran and that they just needed some more props to work with from Mercury Racing.

powerboat race results

Enjoy more images from the inaugural 7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix.

A few hours earlier, Sunday started with the nine teams in Mod V and the seven teams in Bracket 500 taking to the 5.6-mile counter-clockwise course. The Mod-V boats were supposed to run eight laps with the bracket boats running five.

After multiple delays for weather, when the green flag finally flew, the Mod V boats charged toward turn one with Brian Forehand and Vinnie Diorio in the 29-foot Outerlimits, Marker 17 Marine , leading followed by owner/throttleman Stephen Kildahl and driver Steve Kildahl (his son) in the 29-foot Extreme, Boatfloater.com. They were chased by the 30-foot Phantom, Fastboys , the 30-foot Extreme, Sun Print , and the 29-foot Extreme, LSB Rev-X Oil .

powerboat race results

Racing was tight in the Mod V class contest.

Marker 17 Marine came past the finish line in the lead followed by Boatfloater.com , Fastboys, Sun Print and LSB Rev-X Oil. In the Bracket 500 race, the 30-foot Phantom, TFR/XINSURANCE, with throttleman Micheal Stancombe and owner/driver J.J. Turk, led the way followed by throttleman Craig Belfato and drive Elijah Kingery, in the 29-foot Warlock, Bulletproof , and another 29-foot Warlock, Hammerheads/SRQ .

The first red flag for the first race on Sunday flew when Marker 17 Marine’s drive came off the boat and launched skyward. The boat slid backward to a stop causing every team behind it to take evasive action. Soon after, the 29-foot Zero Tolerance, TM Farnsworth Motorsports/Hancock Claims running in Bracket 500 had an incident between turns one and two that spit out driver Ervin Grant and throttleman Rob O’Connell, but they were OK after the race.

powerboat race results

Sun Print flew to victory in the rough and rowdy Mod V contest.

This left Sun Print leading the Mod V race to the checkered flag followed by Boatfloater.com and LSB in third. The Mod V race wasn’t without more incidents. When a red flag was thrown during a squall, the 30-foot Phantom, Laticrete , slowed so quickly that it caught the Shocker team off guard. In a text to speedonthewater.com, Shocker owner/driver Chris Colson said that he didn’t expect Laticrete to chop the throttles and that he had to make an evasive maneuver to avoid hitting other boats. That caused Shocker to roll. Colson and throttleman Ray Evans were OK.

Because of multiple delays caused by weather, the Bracket 500 teams were sent back to the pits. First went to TFR/Xinsurance followed by Bulletproof and Hammerheads/SRQ .

Saturday In The Park In a stark contrast to Sunday, Saturday brought beautiful weather that let to most of the Bracket-class boats running in relatively calm conditions.

Throttleman Chad Woody and driver Billy Shipley led flag to flag in the 35-foot Fountain, Team Woody . For the record, they were running in Bracket 300. In the Bracket 200 class, the 41-foot Apache, Predator , continued its winning ways with its new 1,100-hp Express engines, taking top honors over the 39-foot Velocity, GNS Motorsports, the 38-foot Phantom, OC Racing , and the 42-foot V-bottom, Cigarette Justice League.

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Team Woody took top honors in the Bracket 300 class on Saturday and team owner Billy Shipley joined Todd Swofford and speedonthewater.com offshore racing correspondent Eric Colby for much of the Race World Offshore livestream broadcast on Sunday.

In Bracket 400, the 34-foot Phantom, MSR Racing, took the win followed by its sistership, Simmons Racing, and a canopied Phantom, Rollin’ Dirty.

In Bracket 600, the 26-foot Corsa, Gerard Marine, took top honors followed by the 24-foot Reindl bat boat, Reindl/Ultimate Boat Racing , and the 26-foot Joker, Freebird , with newcomers Ryan Stahlman and Reef Dellanos.

In Bracket 700, the 21-foot Superboat, Jackhammer, didn’t break out and won the race followed by the new entry TFR/XINSURANCE and the 22-foot Velocity, Dees Nuts.

Of the two classes that didn’t race on Sunday, the purse for Super Stock was distributed evenly among the 11 boats that registered for the class and each team earned 45 points. The nine boats in Super Cat earned half the points they would have earned for winning the race based on their finish in the pole-position qualifying time trials.

powerboat race results

The Predator Apache continued its winning ways in the Bracket 200 class.

The second race of the 2023 APBA Offshore Series and the first of five races in the Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 World Championship Series, Thunder On Cocoa Beach (Fla.) produced by Powerboat P1 , is set for May 18-21.

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Home » Home » IT’S RACE WEEK! Thunder on Cocoa Beach Offshore Powerboat Race Festivities Start Today

IT’S RACE WEEK! Thunder on Cocoa Beach Offshore Powerboat Race Festivities Start Today

By Space Coast Daily  //  May 16, 2024

Enjoy four days and nights of parties and lots of racing action!

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It’s Race Week! Don’t miss any of the pre-race party events. You do not have to be a VIP ticket holder to attend these parties—they are open to the public! Tonight High Octane Kickoff Party behind Sandbar Sports Grill – Cocoa Beach Friday night’s Thunder on Cocoa Beach Block Party (in downtown Cocoa Beach) and the Racers’ Welcome Party at Coconuts On the Beach and the official Thunder on Cocoa Beach After Party each night at JT’s Social Bar.

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BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA – Thunder on Cocoa Beach offshore powerboat races will return for its 15th year on Florida’s Space Coast, scheduled from May 16 to May 19 and includes four days and nights of parties and lots of racing action.

The Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix is one of the most popular attractions for the whole family in Central Florida and draws the top race teams in the World to compete in various classes with Class 1 reaching speeds over 175 mph.

In addition to soaking up the vibe of a Powerboat P1 race filled with excitement, action and speed, spectators can also take in the atmosphere of the East Coast’s surfing capital.

Due to its warm weather, steady waves and world-class surf shops, Cocoa Beach welcomes around 2.5 million visitors each year , making it a top tourist destination. Once the racing is over, The Cover will be a popular destination, with Fish Lips Waterfront Bar & Grill on everyone’s list.

Class 1 is the premier class of offshore powerboat racing in the world and is considered to be one of the most spectacular marine motorsports.

A Class 1 race boat has twin inboard 1100 horse power engines.  Each boat has a two-man crew: the driver and throttleman. They work closely with their pit crews to decide the race set-up: the type of propeller required for the conditions, gear ration settings, the amount of fuel needed and race tactics.

For tickets go to ThunderOnCocoaBeach.com

All-New VIP Experience

A great race day experience is available for the biggest race fans as 2024 will usher in an all-new VIP experience for Thunder on Cocoa Beach fans.

Thunder on Cocoa Beach race officials said this year it’s all about where to be on Saturday and Sunday for race days.

“We have completely upgraded our VIP experience to offer a better experience and to enhance how and where you watch the race. You have more options for seating, dining and drinking for two fantastic days of racing – we’ve even included an option to pre-pay for VIP parking at Lori Wilson Park.”

For 2024, the only location for beach chalets is at the start/finish line located at Lori Wilson Park; there will not be chalets on the turns. For viewing options this year, you can choose from a VIP chalet ticket, a two-person lounger with umbrella ticket or amp up your weekend in one of our private cabanas.

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VIP CHALET: The Thunder on Cocoa Beach VIP Chalet is getting a makeover. It will feature a dining area and cozy VIP lounge spaces. Sit and watch the race on LIVE TV in total comfort under our large, shaded tent and enjoy a complimentary buffet and two drink tickets. A cash bar will also be available.

TWO-PERSON LOUNGER WITH UMBRELLA: The two-person lounger chair set up with umbrella gives you a dedicated spot to watch the race without having to lug your own chairs and umbrellas. Each setup accommodates two people and includes table service. These tickets include access to the VIP Chalet and all the perks that accompany the VIP Chalet ticket.

PRIVATE CABANA: Sit in the middle of the action in your own private cabana. The two-person private cabana comes with two canvas loungers, a cocktail table, UV cabana shade, dedicated food/drink server, towel service, two drink tokens and a plate of food for each person. Got friends? You can add two more people to your cabana for an upgrade charge. Cabanas also include access to the VIP Chalet and all the perks that come with it.

PARKING: Parking is not included in the price of your ticket, but it can be added to your experience. This year VIP parking passes will be sold ahead of race day and are only valid with a TOCB VIP ticket.

There is a new location for Thursday night’s High Octane Kick-off Party. You can join the race directors, racers and other fans to celebrate the upcoming weekend’s races in the parking lot behind Sandbar Sports Grill and Twisted Tides.

As always, the race boats will parade down A1A on Friday afternoon at around 4 p.m. headed to the Thunder on Cocoa Beach Block Party located in the streets of downtown Cocoa Beach.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Thursday, May 16 – 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.: High Octane Kick-Off Party behind Sandbar & Twisted Tides ; 10 p.m. – Thunder on Cocoa Beach After Party brought to you by Xinsurance at JT’s Social Bar, inside the Cocoa Beach La Quinta Inn.

Friday, May 17 –  9 a.m, to 5 p.m .: Registration and Inspection, Race Village-Racer Village, Flounder Drive; 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Boat Parade, boats leaving from the ]ort between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to park in downtown Cocoa Beach; 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thunder on Cocoa Beach Block Party in Downtown Cocoa Beach and meet the racers; 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Coconuts on the Beach VIP party; 10 p.m., Thunder on Cocoa Beach After Party brought to you by Xinsurance at JT’s Social Bar, inside the Cocoa Beach La Quinta Inn.

Saturday, May 18 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., VIP Experience Start/Finish Line at Lori Wilson Park; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Power Boats in Dry Pits, Race Village Flounder Drive; 10 p.m., Thunder on Cocoa Beach After Party brought to you by Xinsurance at JT’s Social Bar, inside the Cocoa Beach La Quinta Inn.

Sunday, May 19 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Launching at Scorpion Marine; 10 a.m.to. 4 p.m., Power Boats in Dry Pits at Race Village on Flounder Drive; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., VIP Experience Start/Finish Line at Lori Wilson Park; 10 a.m., Start of first race; 6 p.m., Awards Presentation; 10 p.m., Thunder on Cocoa Beach After Party brought to you by Xinsurance at JT’s Social Bar, inside the Cocoa Beach La Quinta Inn.

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Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix changes dates for this year's 40th anniversary event

Reasons cited for the date change include driving more business during the off-season and moving away from peak bird and turtle nesting season..

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One of Sarasota's largest annual events , which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, has announced it will change calendar dates.

Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, which has traditionally been held over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, will now take place Sept. 13-15, according to a press release. Reasons given for the date change include driving more business to local retailers, hotels and restaurants during the off-season; helping alleviate limited City and County resources when held over the busy Fourth of July weekend; and moving away from peak bird and turtle nesting season on local beaches.

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The powerboat races will take place Sept. 14-15 off Lido Beach, with a Sept. 13 pit party in the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall parking lot featuring live music, food and powerboats on display to the general public. There will also be VIP viewing options for the event, and a Class 1 Experience that includes private access to parties, events, tours, team meet and greet opportunities, and "ultra-premium" race viewing both days. 

“We are excited to welcome the annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix back on their new September dates," said Visit Sarasota County director of sports Pete Harvey in a statement. "The Grand Prix draws enthusiastic crowds, capturing the attention of visitors and residents alike. It attracts a diverse range of attendees, which generates a sizeable surge in tourism and spending.”

Another annual Sarasota-Manatee attraction featuring powerboat races, the Bradenton Area River Regatta , also recently announced the dates for its next event. The 10th annual Regatta, which bills itself as Manatee County's largest spectator event, will return to the shorelines of Bradenton and Palmetto on Feb. 21 and 22, 2025, featuring a drone laser light show and fireworks display the first day, racing on the second, and live music both days.

For more information on Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, visit p1offshore.com and class1world.com .

Email entertainment reporter Jimmy Geurts at [email protected]. Support local journalism by  subscribing .

P1 Offshore;

Powerboat P1 is the fastest growing marine motorsport series in the world and has a long term commitment to growing and developing the sport of power boating at all levels. The Powerboat P1 team works closely with the sport’s governing bodies, the UIM, APBA and the IJSBA. P1 has delivered more than 85 world championship events in over twelve different countries for more than a decade.

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Thunder on Cocoa Beach returns on May 17th 2024, and it is the 15th Anniversary of this very popular event. It is the second race of the APBA season. Expect wild Atlantic waves, creating some amazing photo opportunities as the boats catch a lot of air. We are looking forward to giving a big P1 welcome to racers, crews and racegoers to this event.

In addition to soaking up the vibe of a P1 race filled with excitement, action and speed, spectators can also take in the atmosphere of the East Coast’s surfing capital. Due to its warm weather, steady waves and world-class surf shops, Cocoa Beach welcomes around 2.5 million visitors each year, making it a top tourist destination. Once the racing is over, The Cover will be a popular destination, with Fish Lips Waterfront Bar & Grill on everyone’s list.

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COMMENTS

  1. Race World Offshore

    The wait is over, folks - Race World Offshore's 7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix in Marathon, FL is finally here! Get ready for thrilling days packed with high-speed action, as top powerboat racers hit the water for an epic test of skill and endurance. Teams will be navigating through the waters with sharp turns and…

  2. P1 Offshore

    P1 Offshore is an organisation responsible for a series of world-class powerboat racing competitions. P1 Offshore is operated by Powerboat P1. Classes include: Class 1, Supercat, Superstock, VX, Stock V, Mod V and Bracket Classes 100 - 700 . P1 Offshore is partnered by the American Power Boat Assocation (APBA), Mercury Racing and the Offshore Powerboat Association (OPA)

  3. OPA Racing

    Home | News | Schedule | Teams | Results | Broadcasts | Photos | Videos | Contact. OPAracing.org is the official web site for OPA Racing, LLC. OPA Racing LLC, is also referred to as the Offshore Powerboat Association. The OPA logos and marks depicted herein are the property of OPA Racing LLC and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of OPA Racing, LLC.

  4. Watch Live!

    Powerboat P1 is the fastest growing marine motorsport series in the world and has a long term commitment to growing and developing the sport of power boating at all levels. ... Results Results 2024; Results 2023; Results 2022; Results 2021; Class 1 ... Next Race. Cocoa Beach. Fri 17 - Sun 19, May. Lake of the Ozarks. Thu 30, May - 01, Jun ...

  5. Sarasota, FL

    Sarasota is the second longest-running US powerboat race, after the Key West Championship. Compared to Cocoa Beach, Sarasota is a more technical course. Cocoa Beach is long and narrow, running up and down the beach, with two 180 degree turns. Sarasota has varying degrees of right turns and a leftward dog-leg on the backward stretch.

  6. Race World Offshore

    Race World Offshore. 17,729 likes · 356 talking about this. Race World Offshore, LLC is a professional offshore powerboat racing organization based in Key West, Florida. Race World Offshore

  7. 7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix Wrap Up: Wild Weather, Eight Laps and Five

    The second race of the 2023 APBA Offshore Series and the first of five races in the Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 World Championship Series, Thunder On Cocoa Beach (Fla.) produced by Powerboat P1, is set for May 18-21. Related stories Image Of The Week: Offshore Rag Dolls In Marathon

  8. American Power Boat Association

    The APBA is the foremost sanctioning body for power boat racing in the United States. Stay up to speed on news, upcoming races, race results and standings. ... AMERICAN POWER BOAT ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES RESULTS FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS. Organizers gearing up for 16th Annual Quake on the Lake.

  9. Class 1 World Powerboat Championship

    The UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship (also known as Class 1) is an international motorboat racing competition for powerboats organized by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM). It is the premier class of offshore powerboat racing in the world.. Class 1 is considered one of the most spectacular marine motorsports. A Class 1 race-boat has twin inboard 1100hp engines and can reach ...

  10. Class 1

    Class 1, International Powerboat Competition Sanctioned by the UIM and operated by Powerboat P1 . ... InMode Announces P1 Offshore Racing Partnership with Female Driver Victoria Rand ... Class 1 2023 Results. UIM Class 1 Results. 2023 Season. Keep In Touch.

  11. F1H2O UIM World Championship

    The UIM F1H2O World Championship is the world's foremost international series of single-seater inshore circuit powerboat racing. Highly competitive, intensely challenging, risky and entertaining, inshore circuit powerboat racing is the ultimate adrenalin rush and regarded as one of the most spectacular and exciting sports in the world.

  12. Sarasota, FL

    Sarasota, FL. Powerboat P1 is heading to Sarasota later than normal on September 13th - 15th for the next round of the 2024 APBA National and UIM World Championships. Around 60 competitors are expected for two days of world-class marine motorsport action. It is the 40th annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix. The weekend of 14th - 15th will see ...

  13. Formula One Powerboat Championship

    The Plugs Formula One Powerboat Championship is a 6-race series contested across North America from May through September. Established in 2017, the series features weekend long community events highlighted by 20+ Formula 1 boats reaching speeds of 120 mph.U.S. Powerboat racing first began in 1903. Formula One racing for the last five decades, has been recognized as one of the world's most ...

  14. American Power Boat Association

    Contact Us. American Power Boat Association. 2701 Lake Myrtle Park Rd. Auburndale, FL 33823. Phone: (586) 773-9700. Fax: (586) 773-6490.

  15. IT'S RACE WEEK! Thunder on Cocoa Beach Offshore Powerboat Race

    Class 1 is the premier class of offshore powerboat racing in the world and is considered to be one of the most spectacular marine motorsports. A Class 1 race boat has twin inboard 1100 horse power ...

  16. Clearwater, FL

    As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 107,000 Clearwater is the county seat of Pinellas County and is the smallest of the three principal cities in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area, most commonly referred to as the Tampa Bay Area. The Clearwater race is an APBA National Points event run by Race World Offshore.

  17. UKOPRA

    United Kingdom Offshore Powerboat Racing Association Home; About; Round the Island. About; Entry Details; Entries; Racing Instructions; Timetable; ... 2023 Results. 2023 Poole Bay 100. Class 1 Results; Class 2 Results; Class 3E Results; Class 3D Results; Class 3C Results; Class 3B Results; Tracker; 2023 Round the Island. Tracker; Results; 2023 ...

  18. Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix changes dates for this year's event

    The powerboat races will take place Sept. 14-15 off Lido Beach, with a Sept. 13 pit party in the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall parking lot featuring live music, food and powerboats on display to ...

  19. Cocoa Beach, FL

    Thunder on Cocoa Beach returns on May 17th 2024, and it is the 15th Anniversary of this very popular event. It is the second race of the APBA season. Expect wild Atlantic waves, creating some amazing photo opportunities as the boats catch a lot of air. We are looking forward to giving a big P1 welcome to racers, crews and racegoers to this event.