The St. Clair River Classic offshore races will return to the City of St. Clair for its 25th year and Blue Water Offshore Racing Association's President Steve Brunner said: "We are excited to be part of a new offshore racing series that includes international teams; will bring more boats to St. Clair and we will continue to welcome teams and fans who have made our race site so popular".
Following the joint announcement at the end of October by Powerboat P1 and OPA Racing that they were to partner to create the American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship in 2019, the two promoters have released details of four of the race sites in the six-venue series; that includes St. Clair.
OPA Racing has been the primary sanctioning body for the St. Clair River Classic in partnership with Blue Water Offshore Racing Association since 2004.
OPA and Powerboat P1, have been involved in offshore racing since 2003, run under the APBA and a key aim of the new partnership is to strengthen the future of racing in the United States by delivering an expanded, cohesive, world-class race series split equally between northern and southern states. The four race venues announced today see the 2019 championship feature major, high-profile events in Florida, Missouri and Michigan:
• Cocoa Beach : 17-19 May - 'Thunder on Cocoa Beach'
• Lake of the Ozarks : 31 May -2 June - Lake Race
• Sarasota : 5-7 July - Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival
• St. Clair River Classic : 26-28 July - St. Clair River Classic
Offshore and, working with Powerboat P1, we now have the opportunity to unite the race teams in a way that has been missing for a long time. We plan to announce the remaining two race venues later this month and then everyone can look forward to a new and exciting six-race championship in 2019."
Azam Rangoonwala, chief executive of Powerboat P1 which has its United States office in Orlando, added: "We have identified several important areas where we believe the partnership will deliver significant results commercially and in terms of the sport's organization and profile. Our aim is always to stage events that excite and entertain, ensuring enjoyment for spectators and TV audiences with sponsor value and a real economic impact for the host venues."
Brunner states "combining this new offshore racing partnership with Blue Water Offshore Racing Association's experience in race production in St. Clair; and, the entertainment and vendors managed by Funfest Productions, will absolutely enhance St. Clair's event so our event will continue to be a fan favorite".