OPA Awards & Racers Meeting
Coming off a very successful 2012 season, the OPA Teams recently converged on the tiny towns of Galloway & Leeds Point in New Jersey to hold their Annual Meeting and Awards Party. With excitement, OPA announced the addition of 3 new race sites Lake Hopatcong, NJ; Atlantic City, NJ; and to be announced very shorty is the site in Long Island, New York. OPA is proud to be returning to the race sites in East Tawas, MI; St Clair, MI; Port Huron, MI/Sarnia, Ont, Can and Solomons, MD. Ed Smith, President of OPA followed by reiterating safety requirements for all boats, discussion about GPSs for the bracketed classes and the possibility of an "Entry Level" class being introduced to OPA for the 2013 season (single outboard boats, more information about the possibility of this class will be released when more is known). Additionally, OPA will continue to red flag races whenever there is an incident on the course. Once the course is clear, the race will be restarted.
The awards party was more like a family reunion for wayward racers. The house was packed with the band "The Switch" featuring Johnny Saris of Saris Racing along with special appearances by Jason Saris of Saris Racing & Louie Giancontieri of Strictly Business & Typhoon. Teams came from California, Florida, Michigan, Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and of course, New Jersey. It was a great night with a warm bond of close friends and family.
The highlight of the evening was the awards ceremony! Finally it was time to acknowledge the 2012 National Champions and present them with thier black Bomber Jackets that proudly display their National Champion Status. OPA accepted the prize on behalf of SVL winner "Pirate Racing" and Extreme winner "Cat Can DO" who could not attend.
The winners for 2012 are:
A special award was given to Anthony Smith by the Jersey Boyz Crew. Anthony received the "Remarkable Achievement Award" in recognition of his unsurpassed achievement during the 2012 Racing Season in which he obtained 3 National Championships in 1 Season
Now 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 Ray Contreras & anthony Smith of PhoenixParts.com. Then it was time to present The Godfather Cup. Teams earn this award by demonstrating goodwill, camaraderie, professionalism and sportsmanship throughout the year. The winner for 2012 is John Woolley & Josh Wall of Lightning Jacks for all that they do for the sport.
Going forward for the 2013 season "The Godfather Cup" will also be dubbed the Jimmy Welsh Memorial Cup. Jimmy Welsh aka "Trophy B****" was a man that many of us loved & adored. There are so many things and so many stories about this man that we can go on forever and never have a bad thing to say. Jimmy truly had a heart of gold. Jimmy was big a part of Offshore Racing and was a part of so many people's adventures. He always seemed to be everywhere all the time helping everyone. It is safe to say that no one ever walked away from Jimmy without a smile on their face. You may have walked away shaking your head, but "YES" it was always with a smile and probably a laugh too. Jimmy will be missed greatly by all.
They cup will also be voted upon by you the racers going forwards. Speak with the registrars at the race sites to find out how to vote.
The OPA Season will start in Lake Hopatcong, NJ, this year on May 10-12, 2013.