Offshore Grand Prix set to return in June

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PHOTO BY MARK R. SULLIVAN Driver Chris Uzzalina and throttle man Mark Rinda power the North Myrtle Beach RV Resort ProStock Vee boat as it flies out of the Atlantic Ocean during the 2019 Point Pleasant Beach Offshore Grand Prix.

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — The Point Pleasant Beach Offshore Grand Prix [NJOPRA] will return to borough shores on June 11, 12 and 13.

Following the race’s cancelation in 2020 due to COVID-19, borough and NJOPRA officials say they are happy to bring boat racing back to Point Beach. 

“After a very difficult year, Point Pleasant Beach is thrilled to welcome back the Offshore Grand Prix,” said Mayor Paul Kanitra. “We’re counting on the weekend to provide a great boost to our local businesses and an always exciting event for our residents and guests.” 

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“The Jersey Shore is back!” added the mayor.

The lively weekend usually pulls thousands to Point Beach over the three-day event to see powerboats speed over rough surf up and down the borough’s shoreline. 

“Race Day” Sunday will conclude the festivities with the final races of the weekend. 

Spectators will be allowed to watch the racing from the beach and boardwalk. Those in attendance will have to follow social distancing guidelines as directed by the state.

This year extra events surrounding the boat races may be different. 

Mayor Kanitra, Chief of Police Joseph Michigan, the Point Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary and the race committee of NJOPRA are working together to see if any extras will be feasible. 

“With COVID still an issue, it is a challenge to decide which events can happen and which will need to be changed or adjusted,” officials said. “All events during race weekend will follow all guidelines put in place by Gov. Murphy and the CDC regarding the coronavirus.”

The title sponsor of the race is once again Jersey Mike’s Subs. This year’s race is also supported in part by a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism.

Offshore Powerboat Association [OPA], based in Brick, will again be the national sanctioning organization for this year’s race.

NJOPRA, an all-volunteer not-for-profit, has organized the event in Point Pleasant Beach since powerboat racing was brought to the borough in 1969. 

“We are always looking for land and water volunteers,” NJOPRA officials said. “If you would like to be part of this exciting event please register on our website.”

For updates on the 2021 Point Pleasant Beach Offshore Grand Prix or to volunteer, visit njoffshore.org.

Check out our other Point Pleasant Beach stories, updated daily. And remember to pick up a copy of The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.

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