The official offshore racing circuit is coming to the West Coast bigger than ever before, and the charge is being led by none other than Scott Arden, former Director of Safety and past president of the Pacific Offshore Powerboat Racing Association (POPRA).
With plans to actively promote and market the offshore racing scene which is next to non-existent on the West Coast, it’s not going to be an easy task. But if anyone can manage to breath life back into the sport it’s Arden.
“Offshore Powerboat racing has dwindled to zero on the West Coast over the past five to seven years,” Arden said, “and it’s time to do something about it.”
Arden, coming from a business background, is taking a more business like approach to the issue of race promotion and marketing. The approach is aggressive and well planned, with his organization already in the process of hiring a marketing staff as well as securing production and TV air slots to generate a much greater reach than ever thought possible. Coupled with an aggressive sponsorship and fundraising campaign as well as plans to offer a significant size purse and tow money program, we can definitely expect to see a sizable resurgence if everything goes as planned.
Arden also understands that in order to succeed he will need to coordinate schedules and events with the other main offshore racing organizations such as OPA and SBI. Plans are already in the works for POPRA to be an APBA affiliate and his hopes are that all of the organizations will be able to work together without conflict towards a unified goal of further promoting the sport. Arden even goes so far as to say that he’s hoping to create a unified APBA World Offshore Championship that would incorporate all of the organizations once a year to end the race season.
POPRA also hopes to bring back the old Factory Classes which many racers got their first start in!
“Reviving the Factory classes is a win-win situation,” Arden said. “It gives the manufacturers an avenue to sell new boats and it brings new racers into the sport. There are many current racers who cut their teeth in the Factory classes.”
We’re looking forward to seeing this develop over the course of the next year as the West Coast prepares to get back its powerboating allure!
(Featured image courtesy of ocphotographics.com)