Schoenwald on Reluctant Miami-Bimini Offshore Challenge Participants: “Deep down, they’re scared”

In 2009 Aqua-Mania won the Miami-Bimini Challenge.

In 2009 Aqua-Mania won the Miami-Bimini Challenge.

Approximately 15 to 20 teams have committed to run the 106-mile roundtrip Miami to Bimini Challenge on Friday, June 17, according to Brad Schoenwald of Offshore Events. The long-distance offshore race is part of the Fourth Annual Sunny Isles (Fla.) Beach Offshore Powerboat Challenge Weekend organized by Offshore Events, which includes a Florida Powerboat Club poker run on Saturday and an Offshore Powerboat Association-sanctioned race on Sunday.

Schoenwald said that while he’s pleased with the response for the Miami-Bimini event so far and expects an even stronger turnout than that of last year—there were 18 boats registered and 13 that participated in 2010—thanks to anticipated event-day entries, he needs the fleet to continue to grow if the event is to continue.

“I think the reason we don’t have greater participation from the performance-boat community is that, deep down, they’re scared,” he said, and then laughed. “They’re scared to go offshore. If it were 106 miles on Lake Havasu, they wouldn’t think twice about it.

“But that’s why we have it at this time of year, when the waters between Miami and Bimini are typically calm,” he added.

Off the water, the majority of the weekend’s festivities, which include concerts, parties and a bikini show, will happen at Gulfstream Park, an upscale thoroughbred horseracing and casino facility in nearby Hallandale Beach. The venue will also serve as the site for the “Racer’s Village” throughout the weekend, and will feature exhibits from Lamborghini of Miami and the Ford Focus Tour.

“Our venue is incredible,” said Schoenwald. “I don’t see how it could be any better.”

Editor’s Note: will provide coverage of the Miami-Bimini Offshore Challenge and OPA events.