MOREHEAD CITY, N.C., Sept. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Following a four-month delay, the 2020 Offshore Powerboat Racing (OPA) season will kick off September 10 -13 in Morehead City, NC. Racing teams from across the U.S., including the Miss GEICO Offshore Racing Team, will compete in the Crystal Coast Grand Prix.
A new partnership between the American Powerboat Association (APBA) and OPA drew record-breaking crowds and race teams during the 2019 season. «We had great plans and a lot of anticipation for the 2020 season,» said OPA President Ed «Smitty» Smith. «In spite of early cancellations, we’re especially excited to finally return to racing with our season opener in Morehead City. We’ve partnered with local organizer, Jeff McCann, to create a safe event for racers and fans alike.»
The Miss GEICO Team is especially excited to participate in the offshore race in Morehead City. The 47-foot Victory catamaran overturned on the last turn of the final lap during the Sarasota race in July 2019. The team has invested 13 months of intensive work to repair and restore the Miss GEICO boat, which will compete for the first time during the Crystal Coast Grand Prix.
«Because of the pandemic, races have been cancelled or postponed. Local ordinances forced us to close our facilities for a while,» said GEICO Crew Chief Gary Stray. «After returning to the shop, we had extra time to ensure the boat was in top performance condition. We’re looking forward to racing in Morehead City and seeing the restored Miss GEICO compete against some of the best racing teams in the U.S.»
In addition to a newly restored boat, Miss GEICO will sport new racers in the driver’s seat. Action and extreme sports icon Travis Pastrana will split driving time with APBA Hall of Champions inductee Brit Lilly. The race in Morehead City will be the first time the duo will drive the Miss GEICO in racing competitions.
Boat racing legend Sir Steve Curtis will control the throttles for the 11-time world championship team. Curtis has more than 20 world championship titles of his own. He is also a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his impact on racing.
Miss GEICO will compete in the recently formed Class One racing division. Class One is comprised of the biggest and fastest race boats in the world. All the boats in this class weigh 11,750 pounds with identical race engines sealed and governed by Mercury Racing to ensure fairness. The 47-foot Miss GEICO Victory catamaran is made of carbon, Kevlar and S-glass for high performance. The boat sports a pair of Mercury sealed 1,100 horsepower twin turbo engines and can reach top speeds of more than 160 mph.
The main races will take place starting at noon on Sunday, Sept. 13 and include seven classes of race boats along the shores of Morehead City, NC. Pre-race events will kick off the evening of Sept. 10 with an arrival party. There will be a Shootout Fun Run on Saturday, Sept. 12. Spectators can view the races from boats in designated areas, on Sugar Loaf Island, and from the Morehead City waterfront. The NC port will not be available for viewing due to COVID-19 restrictions. Safety on the race course an in surrounding areas is top priority. Please visit the event’s Facebook page for more information and updates – https://www.facebook.com/Crystal-Coast-Grand-Prix-149819966387.
For Media Only
Links to NEW Miss GEICO B Roll – https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/XuyVRdBlmX
Link to NEW Miss GEICO photos – https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/fs9oFQT97R
To schedule interviews, or request more information on the Miss GEICO Team, please contact:
Brenda Little – BLittle@bbigmarketing.com – 813-391-4542
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SOURCE Miss GEICO Racing/Crystal Coast Grand Prix