The Hopatcong Grand Prix Race was held this last Sunday, September 25th and the crowd was amazed by the speed of the boats, the level of the competition and the overall venue offered at Lake Forest Yacht Club. As the boats race by the shore at sometimes faster than 90 MPH, the wake almost looks like smoke on the water.
They had over 40 boats participating in this race, which makes this the largest race for Offshore Powerboat Association (OPA) this season. This was a must-attend for most boats, since the primary objective is to hold onto their point leads headed into finals of this season.
In speaking to several of the boat owners, Lake Hopatcong is a special venue that offers racing on a shorter course in calmer waters, which is ideal for the smaller boats, but it also means that racers are up against tighter turns, which can cause a spin-out at high speeds............
The Offshore Powerboat Association National Championship is coming down to the wire, and today's races at the Lake Hopatcong Grand Prix could make a huge difference in the standings.
The first race is scheduled for 11:30 this morning. Race Village at the Lake Forest Yacht Club has a spectator section on the lake, with concessions and amenities available. Admission is $5
Since the Point Pleasant Beach Grand Prix in May, speed boat racers from various classes have battled all over the country -- and Canada -- for a chance to claim a championship. The eight-race season (one race, the Detroit River IPC in July, was canceled) is in its penultimate weekend of the regular season before the World Championships in November.
The teams travel all over the country together and compete at the same events on the powerboat association schedule.
On Saturday, the crews showed up to Lake Forest Yacht Club in Jefferson to put their boats in the water for test runs. The trash-talking between rival teams was audible and not fit for print in a newspaper.
But while competition is fierce and there's plenty on the line, a sense of camaraderie and shared passion is strong with this traveling band of water warriors...........
The 2016 Lake Hopatcong Grand Prix begins today and runs through Sunday.
The annual Off Shore Power Boat Association event will be at the Lake Forest Yacht Club in Jefferson. The club will host the Race Village, where spectators and guests can interact with racers and sponsors.
Today will be the official first day of events, with a racer meet and greet at 6 p.m. at Mason Street Pub. There will be a Tour the Lake fun run at 1 p.m.
On Saturday morning, attendees can have breakfast with the racers at Charley's Tavern from 9 to 11 a.m. From noon to 4 p.m., racers will be testing the boats. A meet and greet follows at 6 p.m. at the yacht club.
Sunday is race day. The first race is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. with other race times to be determined. The awards ceremony will take place at 7 p.m...........
Up to 40 powerboat racers, from as far away as Michigan and Florida, were planning to take part in the second annual Lake Hopatcong Grand Prix on Sunday.
Then, just three hours before the first of three races was to begin at 11 a.m., state police said the water level was too high for the competition to proceed.
Event promoter Chris Hayden, of Sparta, said the disappointed racers briefly discussed whether to go ahead anyway, but backed off facing fines for both violating the no-wake law and a possible much steeper penalty from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
“It was like a group consensus not to run,” he said.
A state police spokeswoman said the determination about the water level was made at 8 a.m.
The cancellation deprived spectators of the opportunity to watch powerboats maneuver the lake course at speeds of up to 140 mph............
Offshore-style powerboat racing is in Lake Hopatcong. Some 30 plus boats are expected to compete in up to 10 categories in the Offshore Powerboat Association event, to be run at the Lake Forest Yacht Club.
This venue starts at one of the best bars on the lake called Mason Street Pub, where you will get to meet the racing teams in person.
Afterwards, the race takes place at the prestigious Lake Forest Yacht club, which has ample parking, and long sandy beach, and will provide a good view of the races for everyone............
The no-wake conditions on Lake Hopatcong caused the cancelation of Sunday’s Lake Hopatcong Grand Prix Offshore Powerboat races, the finale of a three-day event, which were scheduled to run later Sunday morning in the Woodport Bay section of the lake. The event, held Mother’s Day weekend last year, is hosted by the Lake Forest Yacht Club.
According to Ray Calogero, commodore at LFYC, an early morning phone call Sunday from a representative at the NJ Department of Environmental Protection overrode both the state police, who issued the initial permit for the event, and Jefferson Township. Both the state police and Jefferson Township mayor Russ Felter felt the race could proceed despite the high water level. The USGA reported the water level at the gage at Hopatcong State Park was at 9.76 feet at 9:30pm Saturday night.
Thirty-six race teams from all across the country were scheduled to run on Sunday, said event organizer Jay Muller, “more entries than at most races,” he added............
Just after noon on a bright sunny Mother’s Day Sunday, Woodport Bay in Lake Hopatcong roared alive when the drivers from the Offshore Powerboat Association fired up their engines and headed for the start line for the first ever Lake Hopatcong Grand Prix. It was the first race of the season for the association.
Spectators came by the thousands, crowding the marinas, the restaurants, and even the homes of private residents. Over 1000 were at the Lake Forest Yacht Club, who rented their facility to OPA for the event. Spectators popped up along the shoreline, stealing a view of the races wherever it could be found, some even hiking to the outer shore of Liffy Island. And they came by boats and kayaks.
Some were curious onlookers, other hardcore fans, like Helene Graham of Landing. She had a front row seat in her folding chair on the beach at the Lake Forest Yacht Club............
The powerboats will be cruising along Lake Hopatcong, jockeying to line up as the starter in the pace boat waits for the right moment to set them loose. The water slaps at the sides of the sleek craft as their several wakes roll and collide, the eyes of each driver on the starter.
The moment arrives and the signal is given.
With a roar of their powerful outboard motors, the boats seem to leap from the water, their bows rising above the wave crests, cutting through water easily, then settling on the lake surface like dancers before racing off and leaving behind a rainbow plume.
That is the sensation Jay Muller said viewers will see from the Lake Forest Yacht Club from May 10 to 12, when the club hosts the first-ever Lake Hopatcong Grand Prix. The local races will be the first races of the 2013 season for the Offshore Powerboat Association.............
SOURCE: Johnny Saris & Mike Yowaiski/SpeedOnTheWater.com - September 26, 2016
Located 40 miles west of New York City, Lake Hopatcong—the second-to-last stop on the 2016 Offshore Powerboat Association circuit—is “home water” for multi-class offshore racing world champion throttleman Jay Muller. And Muller made sure that all the details were covered and everything was right where it should be for the racers and their fans for yesterday’s contest.
The rolling hills of the New Jersey Highlands and were the perfect backdrop for the race and the short, intricate 2.3-mile course including a dogleg on the back straight to keep things interesting. (The racers nicknamed it the “Bristol Motor Speedway of the Water.”) There were six races throughout the day including a local class for Pontoons in the morning—and everything started on time............
Despite the fact that the race teams, offshore racing fans and the leadership of the Offshore Powerboat Association put a brave face on it, the cancellation of last weekend’s second race of the season on Lake Hopatcong in New Jersey had to be disappointing. When 30 teams show up for a race that doesn’t happen because the elements—in this case a too-high lake level thanks courtesy of torrential rains—conspire against it, there’s plenty of disappointment to go around. (The good news, of course, is that 30 teams showed up for the second race of the year, which bodes well for the 2014 OPA season.)
Among the folks who were understandably bummed out that the races didn’t happen was photographer Tim Sharkey, who has shot OPA races, as well as New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club events, for years and recently launched a new custom offshore racing video service. Sharkey was pumped to shoot the first race of the season in an area he truly loves—he even planned to work late into the night to get images to speedonthwater.com for the first of what will be a series of post-race wrap-ups by offshore announcer and commentator Mike Yowaiski............
The Offshore Powerboat Association kicked off its eight-race season last weekend on New Jersey’s Lake Hopatcong for the first Lake Hopatcong Grand Prix presented by Broadco Restoration. With its “washing machine-like” conditions, the tight, 2.3-mile course left no margin for error among the competitors and created nonstop action that was easy for spectators to follow from all viewing areas.
On Sunday morning, more than 1,000 fans watched the races under clear skies—rain on Saturday was strong enough to force an abbreviated practice schedule—at the Lake Forest Yacht Club. Racing started at noon with Classes 5 and 6.
In Class 5, driver Kevin Congdon and throttleman “Fast” Eddie Simmons led from start to finish in Cisco. With new power from Saris Racing Engines, Smith Brothers/CRC started strong in Class 6 but ended up struggling to a sixth-place result with ignition problems. Repeat Offender took the Class 6 win............
Offshore powerboat racing is back again in Lake Hopatcong. This time, it plays host to the 2017 National Championship. They are expecting 10 or more race classes, which will be made up of 40+ boats. All of them will be competing in this Offshore Powerboat Association (OPA) event, which runs out of the prestigious Lake Forest Yacht Club (LFYC), otherwise known as Race Village.
Lake Hopatcong local resident & racer, Jay Muller, will headline in two of the most popular race boats on the OPA circuit. Jay will be throttleman for last year’s crowd favorite, the Batman Boat, and is scheduled to drive for the famous Miss Geico boat. As an added bonus, Jay will also be racing his own team Wicked boat with his son Jason.
Many race teams will kick off the event on Friday with a ceremonial Parade Lap & Fun Run, which starts and ends at LFYC. The Fun Run will comprise of several stops at local restaurants along the lake, where the public is encouraged to join in on, or you can simply drop in at any of the venues. At the conclusion of the Fun Run, there will be live music into the night at LFYC where you will get to meet the racing teams in person............
Due to the cancellation of the "Ocean City Grand Prix" (Ocean City, Maryland), OPA Racing will be awarding "Double Points" to the race entrants who participate in the "Lake Hopatcong Grand Prix" (Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey) on September 24, 2017.
Lake Hopatcong is the final stop of the regular season in which the National Champions will be announced with a celebration to follow in the winter of 2018.
The 1st race of the Lake Hopatcong Grand Prix will start at 11am on September 24th. Please contact registration with your intentions of attendance as well as notify registration of any possible double-duty rolls.............
Grand Prix this weekend on the lake
The Grand Prix returns to Lake Hopatcong this weekend, and for the first time it will serve as the Offshore Powerboat National Championship.
The race will be held Sunday at 11:30 a.m. at the Lake Forest Yacht Club, 35 Yacht Club Drive in Lake Hopatcong. But race weekend festivities will begin Friday with a ceremonial parade lap and fun run.
Race day will run from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. An entry fee into “Race Village” will be $5 for adults on Sunday only. Kids and yacht club members with badges are free............