Racing: Englewood Beach Waterfest Organizer’s Launch ‘Racing To Recovery’ Initiative
With their decision to move ahead with the Englewood Beach Waterfest/Offshore Powerboat Association World Championships (November 17-20) in Southwest Florida made earlier this week, organizers of the event are wrapping up details on a community-wide campaign dubbed “Racing to Recovery.” The initiative is “focused on covering operational expenses and providing local resident support in the wake of Hurricane Ian,” according to a press a release the Englewood Beach Waterfest organization sent out this morning.
The Englewood Beach Waterfest OPA World Championships are on—and so is the event’s “Racing To Recover” donation program. Photos from the 2021 OPA/Englewood Beach event by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“We activated our marketing and web team to set up a custom donation campaign page,” said Elaine Miller, a past president and current Waterfest board member, in the release. “Any individual or business interested in supporting this community event can donate funds to cover operational expenses so that free admission to the races for local residents is possible.
“We are providing a portal to folks outside of the areas affected by Hurricane Ian to help us let the locals have a day or two reprieve from the cleanup and repair that the devastation has caused,” she added.
In addition to crowning its own world champions, the OPA-produced event will crown American Power Boat Association and Union Internationale Motonautique world champs in the Stock V, Mod V and Bracket classes.
Offshore racing world championships in the V-bottom classes will be decided next month in Englewood Beach, Fla.
“The overwhelming support of the OPA, local business owners, our event ambassadors, community leaders, along with county and local officials, has uplifted and prompted us to move forward to hold this year’s racing event.” said Steve Gardiner, the president of the Englewood Beach board of directors. “The people of our community have really pulled together and shown immense resilience and determination to bring Englewood and the surrounding areas back, and we are committed to ensuring any local resident who wants to attend this year’s event has the opportunity to do so.”
The Englewood Beach action will begin with testing on Friday followed by two full days of racing on Saturday and Sunday.
Said Ray LaBadie, the first vice president of the Waterfest board and a key liaison between his fellow event organizers and the Offshore Powerboat Association, “We have seen and heard the overwhelming support from our race teams who love racing on the waters here in Englewood Beach. The location and setup is ideal, and the welcoming environment of the residents and businesses really sets us apart from other venues.”
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