High Water Forces OPA To Scrub Hopatcong Race
While the Offshore Powerboat Association’s second race of the 2014 season was slated to kick off on New Jersey’s Lake Hopatcong yesteday, high water on the lake forced the organization to cancel the event. A strong showing of 30 offshore raceboats turned out for the OPA season-opener.
Despite a strong turnout, OPA officials were forced to cancel yesterday’s season-opener. Photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.
Water levels in the lake turned out to be culprit in the forced cancellation of the event. The Northeast was hit with more than 5 inches of rain the week before the event, which caused the already high level of the lake to rise even further. With the water height exceeding 9-1/2 feet according to the gauge at the lake’s dam, the New Jersey State Police restricted boat speed on the water to “cause minimal wake.” The situation forced the organizers to cancel Friday’s fun run and Saturday’s testing session.
The event’s primary organizer Jay Muller, a veteran OPA competitor, and his volunteer crew, and all of the racers in the fleet had hoped the lake’s water level would drop the necessary 2 inches to allow for Sunday’s event. But after a call to the organizers from the State Police that morning, the event was cancelled for fear the wakes on the high water could damage docks and the shoreline.
“Jay Muller and his staff have done an amazing job making the race happen but Mother Nature is one thing we cannot control,” said Ed Smith, the president of OPA.
The next stops for OPA are Lake of the Ozarks (Mo.) and Atlantic City (N.J.)
Editor’s Note: Offshore racing announcer/commentator Mike Yowaiski will provide OPA offshore racing wrap-ups throughout the 2014 season.