MOREHEAD CITY, N.C., Oct. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Less than 45 days after the Offshore Powerboat Racing Associate (OPA) hosted races in Morehead City, race teams will return to the Crystal Coast to compete in the 2020 OPA World Championship Races. The annual multi-day event was originally scheduled for late November in Englewood, FL.
When plans to cancel the races in Englewood were announced, Crystal Coast Grand Prix organizer Jeff McCann and OPA officials jumped into action. The mid-September Grand Prix was such a huge success for the community and racers with 35 teams competing in multiple classes.
"We're excited to return to Morehead City to compete in the OPA World Championship Races," said Miss GEICO Crew Chief Gary Stray. "The Grand Prix gave us the perfect chance to test our recently rebuilt 47-foot catamaran in racing conditions. The boat performed flawlessly on the intracoastal boomerang course, a rare experience in boat racing, especially this crazy year."
In addition to the recently reconstructed watercraft, the wheel of the Miss GEICO was under the command of a new driver. While not new to racing, Brit Lilly was a last-minute substitute for intended driver Travis Pastrana. Lilly is a world champion racer and an inductee to the APBA Hall of Champions; however, the Morehead City race was the first time Lilly shared the cockpit of the iconic neon yellow Miss GEICO boat in a racing environment.
In keeping with previous world championship races, there will be two days off testing on Oct. 22 and 24 in Morehead City. Three separate races will take place each day on Oct. 23 and 25, with staggered start times allowing the waterways to re-open in between for commercial and personal watercraft activity. This is the first time a single race site has hosted two OPA races within the same season.
World Championship driving duties for the Miss GEICO will be shared by Lilly and Pastrana, an action- and extreme-sports legend. Pastrana was scheduled for his first-ever boat racing event during the September races, but had to cancel plans at the last minute. Lilly will drive Miss GEICO during the Friday race and Pastrana will take the driver's seat for Sunday's race. The driving combo will share the cockpit with international boat racing legend Steve Curtis. Curtis will control the throttles for the 11-time world championship team; he has more than 20 world championship titles of his own and is a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his contributions to powerboat racing.
Miss GEICO weighs 12,500 pounds with twin Mercury-sealed 1,100 horsepower twin turbo engines and can reach top speeds exceeding 160 mph. The 47-foot GEICO Victory catamaran is made of carbon, Kevlar and S-glass for high performance.
The first race of the day will kick off starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 23 and Sunday, Oct. 25 with seven classes of boats competing each day. The dry pits area will be open to the public all four days of this world class event. Please visit http://www.oparacing.org/mhc_worlds.html for a detailed schedule of activities.
SOURCE Miss GEICO Racing