OPA Awards & Racers Meeting
written by Ron Polli on 02/12/2012
Coming off a very successful 2011 season, the OPA Teams recently converged on the tiny town of Galloway Township NJ to hold their annual meeting and Awards Party. During the pre-party meeting Rick Felson from High Risk Insurance fully explained the coverage limits of the K&K Race Insurance policy that OPA carries at each event and how it offers a unique level of Participant to Participant coverage. Ed Smith, President of OPA followed by explaining some new safety requirements for all canopied boats, such as automatic internal lighting systems and a simple device that will prevent fuel spills through the vent when a boat rolls over. Additionally, OPA will now red flag races whenever there is an incident on the course. Once the course is clear, the race will be restarted. Finally, Smith explained that during the 2012 season OPA will experiment with a Prop Shaft Dyno to control horsepower in the bracket classes and check horsepower in the spec classes.
The awards party was more like a family reunion for wayward racers. The house was packed with a live band, flowing drinks and fantastic food. Teams came from California, Florida, Michigan, Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts and of course, New Jersey, including five new teams that will join OPA in 2012. It was a wild night of Jersey Boyz style antics and the warm bond of close friends and family.
The highlight of the evening was the awards ceremony, which started out with the retirement of number 413 belonging to Augie Pensa and Team Jersey Boyz. Augie started Racing in 2003 and won World and National Championships along the way, which included his
induction into the APBA Hall of Champions. Additionally Augie is the Vice President of OPA and President of the Jersey Boyz. Known as the Godfather of OPA, Augie has had one salami too many and his doctor told him that racing won’t be in his future anymore. His Scarab will return to weekend pleasure boat duties and his number will never be used in OPA again. Clearly Augie has had a tremendous impact on our sport and will continue to do so from the shore at future OPA events.
Then it was time to acknowledge the 2011 National Champions and present them with black Silk Jackets that proudly display their National Champion Status.
The winners for 2011 are:
- Extreme – Miss Geico
- Super Cat – Talkin Trash
- Cat Lite – AMSOIL
- Super Vee – Strictly Business
- Class 1 – Cleveland Construction
- Class 3 – Bull on the Beach
- Class 4 – FormulaBoats.com / TnT Racing
- Class 5 – Immaculata Mighty Macs
- Class 6 – Wazzup II
Then it was time to present the two highest awards in OPA. These are both perpetual awards that are handed down from one winner to the next. The Stuggots Cup presented to the team that has the highest number of points regardless of class. This year it went to Bob Teague of Team AMSOIL who attended every OPA race and won all but one of them. Then it was time for Augie to present The Godfather Cup. Teams earn this award by demonstrating goodwill, camaraderie, professionalism and sportsmanship throughout the year. The winner for 2011 was Evil Ed Smith from Team Cleveland Construction for all he does for the sport.
The OPA Season will start in Ocean City, MD this year and end in Jupiter, FL (Palm Beach County).