Race World Offshore expanded its racing schedule for 2020 with new stops in Alabama and Georgia, concluding with the Key West Championships in November.
The organization has a five-race schedule kicking off in Orange Beach, Alabama, April 17-19. It’s the first time Orange Beach has hosted an offshore race in several years, said Larry Bliel, president of Race World Offshore.
“Orange Beach wanted to bring back offshore racing,” Bliel said. “We met with the mayor and city leaders to make it happen. Now offshore racing is back in Orange Beach.”
After Orange Beach, the teams will head to Lake Lanier, Georgia, June 12-14. The event remains pending city approvals, Bliel said. Following the event on Lake Lanier, RWO has races in Dunkirk, New York, July 10-12 and Clearwater, Florida, Sept. 25-27. RWO wraps up the season in Key West, Florida, Nov. 8-15.
Because Race World Offshore has America Power Boat Association (APBA) sanctioning, teams from all offshore racing classes can participate. “Whatever the class is we’ll be open for those boats,” Bliel said. “I don’t feel we should have to say do this or you can’t race here. I never thought that was right.”
Bliel said the schedule was laid out to give teams time between races rather than bunching races in the summer.
“The teams need time—their boats break down, travel is a big expense and they have their businesses to run,” he said. “I looked at the whole schedule and thought this made sense.”
Bliel said RWO plans to add another race in 2021 but don’t expect the schedule to grow significantly.
“Just adding a race some place just doesn’t work,” he said. “If it’s not the right venue, right everything, it’s not worth it.”