In a rare ruling, the Offshore Powerboat Association (OPA) has awarded its World Championship in Class 3 to driver Billy Shipley and throttleman Chad Woody of #327 #Living Right/Team Woody—reversing its decision to give it to V1 Wazzup, driven by OPA President Ed “Smitty” Smith.
The weekend’s season-ending Englewood Beach Waterfest event in Florida had comprised two races, on Saturday on Sunday. Saturday’s race was won by Team Woody, while Wazzup did not run; Wazzup was victorious on Sunday, with Team Woody coming in third. During the race, it was assumed that given Woody’s Saturday win, the team would clinch the world finals as long as they finished the race. To the surprise of many—including Shipley and Woody—OPA awarded the overall win to Wazzup, while Team Woody got a runner-up prize.
However, after Shipley posted a passionate post on Facebook objecting to the outcome, OPA’s Smith modified the outcome to demote his own boat’s points on Saturday to zero, giving Team Woody a high-points total of 131. Meanwhile, V6 Strictly Business was named the event’s second-place finisher.
Sunday’s race was played out on an extremely bumpy course with 4-5 foot seas on the Gulf of Mexico. “We were hitting walls of water that were like mountains out there,” Shipley told Powerboat Nation. “A lot of people got hurt. Brian Forehand was injured pretty badly, and I heard that one of the guys in the Speedster boat got knocked unconscious. Chad and I are pretty sore today.”
The pair had campaigned two boats throughout the season: their Class 3 35’ Fountain #Living Right/Team Woody and the Class 5 30’ Phantom competitor Team Woody. Their 28’ Lavey Craft has also been a popular fixture in Class 4.