OPA Awards Banquet Celebration


(Point Pleasant Beach, NJ) ~  Coming off a very successful 2016 racing season, the OPA Teams converged at the Amethyst Beach Motel in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, which hosted our annual meeting. After our meeting we moved down the street to Martell’s Lobster House.

As expected, the awards banquet is always more like a family reunion for wayward racers. Attendees came from Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New Jersey. It was an awesome night with some of the typical shenanigans but with the warm bond of close friends and family. Entertainment was provided by “Guns 4 Hire”.

The highlights of the evening during this year’s awards ceremony were as follows:

The National Champions for the 2016 season were:

  • Super Vee Lite – WeHaulBoats.com
  • Class 1 – Lightning Jacks
  • Class 2 – Bat Boat
  • Class 3 – Wazzup
  • Class 4 – Saris Racing
  • Class 5 – Reindl Powerboats/Wanna Race?
  • Class 6 – You Gun Learn
  • Class 7 – Hangin N Bangin

The “Stugots Cup” was presented to the team that has the highest number of points regardless of class. This year it was presented to Michael Bocchino & Warren Exner of “You Gun Learn”.

The coveted “Godfather Cup” goes to an individual or team that demonstrates goodwill, camaraderie, professionalism and sportsmanship throughout the year. This trophy was presented to Ray Murk of “Knot Guilty”.

The “Jimmy Welsh Trophy” goes to an individual non-racing team member who displays the similar qualities that Jimmy brought to the sport. The 2016 recipient of the Jimmy Welsh Trophy went to Bud Wilson of “Smith Brothers Racing/CRC”.

OPA Racing extends their congratulations to those that received the honor of being inducted into the APBA Hall of Champions:

  • Offshore National Class: Val Fiorillo (driver) and Mike Ogden (Throttleman) from team “WeHaulBoats.com”
  • Offshore Production Class: Warren Exner (driver) and Michael Bocchino (Throttleman) from team “You Gun Learn”.

The 2017 OPA Racing schedule has been amended with the change of dates for the Ocean City Grand Prix now being held in September.

  • May 19-21:  POINT PLEASANT BEACH GRAND PRIX Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
  • June 2-3:  LAKE RACE Lake Ozark, MO
  • July 28-30:  ST CLAIR RIVER CLASSIC St Clair, MI
  • August 11-13:  INTERNATIONAL POWERBOAT RACE Port Huron, MI/Sarnia, Ont, Can
  • August 25-27:  FALL RIVER GRAND PRIX Fall River, MA
  • September 8-10:  OCEAN CITY GRAND PRIX Ocean City, MD
  • September 22-24:  LAKE HOPATCONG GRAND PRIX Lake Hopatcong, NJ
  • November 15-19:  ENGLEWOOD BEACH WATERFEST Englewood, FL

Good luck to everyone in 2017!

Mike Bocchino & Warren Exner, recipients of the "Stugots Cup".

Smitty with Bud Wilson, recipient of the "Jimmy Welsh Trophy".

Smith with Ray Murk (recipient of the "Godfather Cup"), Augie Pensa & Dolly Murk.