Ramp-up begins for the Grand Prix

Mayor Stephen Reid atended a press conference for the upcoming Point Pleasant Beach Offshore Grand Prix on June 6. [DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS]

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Sponsors, racers and organizers of the 50th Anniversary Point Pleasant Beach Grand Prix gathered at Captain Bill’s Landing on Wednesday to promote the upcoming Father’s Day weekend powerboat competition.

They thanked one another for their hard work and dedication in, once again, pulling off an event with a longstanding tradition of bringing the community of Point Pleasant Beach together for a weekend of friendly rivalry and powerboats.

The pre-event press conference was opened by Toni Pothoff, president of the New Jersey Offshore Powerboat Association, who compared her first glimpse of a powerboat race as a spectator to all-encompassing task of staging the current Grand Prix.

“The first race I ever saw, I just thought the boats come in, they race and then they leave,” said Ms. Pothoff. “Well, that’s not it at all.”

Assembling the powerboat competition, which was revived in 2016, is a team effort, she said, months of work lead up to the culmination on race day.

“When Mayor Reid was running for mayor four years ago, his one concern was to bring the boat race back,” Ms. Pothoff said. “Mayor Reid called me and a few other people called me and asked if I would come and help the boat race, so I said ‘I will,’ and we’ve had so much fun. It’s been a great success for the past four years, and here we are,” said Ms. Pothoff.

Mr. Reid spoke next, while holding hands with his mother, former councilwoman Barbara Reid, who has been a booster of the powerboat event since it was known as the Benihana Grand Prix and included a beauty pageant in the 1980s. Ms. Reid will be the race’s grand marshal this year.

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