MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) Offshore Powerboat Racing returns to Morehead City October 23-25 for the OPA World Championship.
The event is known as the “Nascar” of the water, bringing racers from around the world to the Crystal Coast for OPA’s final race of the season.
Previous success for the Crystal Coast Grand Prix this Summer led officials to make the decision to hold the world championship in the East.
Teams checked-in on Thursday and then the fun began. 60 boats with roaring engines and breathtaking speed took to the Crystal Coast to compete for the title– ‘Best in the World’.
“I was like, woah, the boats are big,” said Carter Roberts, race fan. “I didn’t know boats could go that fast.”
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic forced many other OPA events to cancel this year, including keeping some top teams from traveling to the championship event.
“Unfortunately because of COVID-19 this year, a lot of our competitors can’t come over because they are from the Middle East, Italy, Australia, from all over the world. They can’t get over because of the restrictions,” said Steve Curtis, Throttleman for the Miss Geico Racing team.
But despite the many downfalls due to COVID-19, there are some good, including a new dynamic-duo.
“If it wasn’t for this place, we wouldn’t have raced at all,” said Steve Papp, Chopper’s Performance Propeller Throttleman, Done Deal Offshore Racing Team.
Sunday was only the second time Steve Papp and his teammate, Charles McCarthy, have raced together. Following their stellar performance, the duo quickly crossed off the title ‘World Champions’ from their to-do list.
“We run smooth together,” said McCarthy.
“Racing is like a puzzle and Charlie was the missing piece,” added Papp.
The team credits much of their success to their supportive families.