OPA Racing: What it takes to put a race together

When it comes to watersports, very few events can match the spectacular experience offered by OPA racing. The OPA (Offshore Powerboat Association) is the organization that does most of the organizing to put together these racing events. As a fan, you may have wondered: “What are the logistics involved in successfully organizing an event?” To answer this question, this article will look at the role played by the OPA and the racing teams.

The OPA’s role

While many stakeholders are involved in the organizing phase of a successful racing event, the OPA is the most involved. The success of any sporting event is determined by how competent its governing federation is. As the governing federation, the OPA’s role includes:

Organizing race venues

The OPA has to scout far and wide to find coastal venues that can serve as event venues. Each event includes dozens of boats, and some of the larger ones can even attract hundreds of participants. A venue needs to provide a safe racing environment for participants. It also needs to have the infrastructure to provide food, accommodation and a proper view for the fans. With the weather being a big factor in powerboat racing, event venues need to be carefully assessed for the racers’ safety.

Determining the boat classes

OPA racing recognizes that all boats are not created equal. To create a fair and competitive environment, boats are separated into different classes depending on their engine configuration and performance ratings.

These classes are determined by the OPA which assess each boat to determine the class it will race in. This categorization into classes also ensures that most (if not all) interested participants are accommodated.

Promote the sport

The OPA has to be proactive to promote the growth of the sport. This includes ensuring that events are properly marketed. OPA has to sign broadcast deals to reach out to fans not attending the events. Apart from growing the fanbase, the OPA also encourages more boat enthusiasts to take on competitive powerboat racing.

Create and enforce the rules

This is pretty straightforward. Every sporting event needs a set of rules to create a fair and safe competitive environment. The OPA sets and enforces the OPA racing rules, and constantly reviews them.

The racers’ role

Racing teams have to make sure that they have the necessary funding to transport their well-maintained boats to OPA racing events all over the country. Most rely on sponsorships for funds, with larger teams having dedicated marketing departments to engage with sponsors.

Apart from keeping their vessels in top racing conditions, racers’ also have to train regularly to maintain competitive skill levels.