POINT PLEASANT BEACH — The beloved Offshore Grand Prix’s return was officially announced by the borough and the race’s organizers during a Wednesday afternoon press conference at Capt. Bill’s Landing.
While organizers, including the Point Pleasant Beach Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce and the New Jersey Offshore Powerboat Racing Association [NJOPRA], are involved with getting the event together, officials say that it wouldn’t be the same without the main sponsor, Jersey Mike’s Subs.
“For the past six years, we have been fortunate to have Jersey Mike’s, an international sponsor with local roots, come out and support and sponsor our event,” said Toni Potthoff, race chair of NJOPRA.
Also sponsoring the race are Capt. Bill’s Landing, Jenkinson’s, Red’s Lobster Pot and many more.
Additionally, the Amethyst Hotel will serve as the race headquarters. The site will also serve as the dunk-tank testing area, a test that each boat must pass before becoming eligible for the race.
Attending the press conference were representatives from the Point Pleasant Beach Rotary Club, including Bill Curtis, who also serves as mayor of Bay Head.
“The Rotary [Club] has always been involved in this. We help with the sales of t-shirts and programs,” Mayor Curtis told The Ocean Star. “It’s so good to have this back in Point Beach because it’ll bring a lot of people in… Businesses love it, boaters love it, and I think the weather is going to be good.”
Mayor Curtis also mentioned that the proceeds from the Rotary Club will be donated to a charity, as they are every year. This year, the charity receiving donations will be the Little by Little Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping children with brain cancer.
Point Beach Mayor Paul Kanitra also attended the press conference, and discussed what the race means to the community and himself.
“This period of time that we’re in right now, in between Memorial Day and when kids get let out of school, is always traditionally a little bit of a quieter period,” Mayor Kanitra said. “Having the boat race come in in early June is so vital to our economy, to ensure that regardless of the weather… That’s going to be a strong weekend for our hotels, restaurants and our shops.
“Growing up on Channel Drive here, I was always around the marina… [the race] was super important to us and our family, and the same holds true now, 40 years later,” he continued.
After the press conference, Kyle Miller, owner of the first-place winning boat at the 2021 race, allowed some guests, including Mayor Kanitra, to go for a ride in the inlet. Mr. Miller’s boat, Speed Marine, can travel up to 95 miles per hour.
Speed Marine has taken part in the Offshore Grand Prix since it began six years ago, and Mr. Miller said he is feeling “very, very confident” about the upcoming race.
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