A well attended Racer's meeting at the Seaview Resort took place on Saturday afternoon just prior to the OPA Awards Dinner held at the Oyster Creek Inn and Boat Bar.
Discussions at the meeting were on the upcoming 2012 racing season and the new changes being made to help make the events safer for everyone. On hand was Rick Felson insurer of OPA Racing Events and provided a great deal of information and explanation of coverages.
President of OPA Racing Ed Smith spoke on improvements and changes to the OPA Racing as we know it. One key note is the YELLOW flag has been removed. Now should there be an incident on the course a RED flag will come out and all boats will report back to their milling areas for a restart. They shall remain there until the incident on the course has been cleared. Boats will then be restarted in the position they were in at the last time they past the Starting Line under the green flag. This keeps any divers and rescue volunteers safe during their operations in and out of the water.
Also OPA will increase the amount of their own TRAINED Divers that will be at every race and will be familiar with everyone's boats should a rescue be needed.
Bruce Johnson "Head of Safety Ops" took the podium to encourage everyone to have their air tanks and regulators inspected and tested. Encouraged members of all types of boats to take the dunk test and encouraged the people that know the other teams that come and race from other organizations to step up and do the same.
On a final note Ron Polli announced the VICCI sponsorship for 2012 and advised the west coast group POPRA will be adding the OPA World Championships to their schedule.
POPRA has also an open invitation to their Lake Havasu Race in the Spring to all OPA members that can make it out west to support them.
The Awards Dinner was additionally special. It was in honor of Augie "The Godfather" Pensa. The entire establishment was decorated by the "Twisted Sisters" with all sorts of memorabilia of the years of racing with "The Godfather" . The stories everyone had to tell about Augie were priceless ! This ceremony should have been recorded it was that good !
Congrats to all of the teams especially Bob Teague & Paul Whittier of AMSOIL Racing Team for winning the National/World and Over All High Points Championships which honors them with the Stuggots Cup as well as Ed Smith of Cleveland Construction for being honored with the "Godfather Award".
All National Champions were awarded Team Racing Jackets by the OPA and as a special gift from Sharkey-Images.com, Custom License Plates were made for all the National and World Championship Teams.
All Photos are now available at : http://www.Sharkey-Images.com/