“The State Police had already granted a permit for a community swim event for our original weekend,” said Ed “Smitty” Smith, the president of OPA.
Smith said the Lake Forest Yacht Club, the contest’s longtime host venue, had no other dates available until late October. That makes October a busy month for OPA, as the outfit is co-producing the final race of the American Power Boat Association Series October 12-14 in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., with the Powerboat P1 organization. (The Hopatcong event is not part of the APBA series.)
For offshore racing veteran and multi-time world champion throttleman Jay Muller, whose sons, Jax and Chase, got their powerboat-racing starts at Lake Hopatcong, the event is particularly significant.
“It’s a great race,” said Muller, who shares the cockpit of the Supercat-class WHM Motorsports Skater catamaran with owner/driver Billy Mauff. “We have five new local teams from the lake that are getting into the sport.
“I live here and wanted to bring the great sport of offshore racing to my hometown,” he continued. “Plus, I get to race against my kids. I think one of my sons is going to race with one of my friends, so Billy Mauff and I will be in the Wicked Hustler Class 7 boat.”