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Speed Demon Spectacular - Ft. Lauderdale Gets The Green Flag for National Race

Old 09-05-2003, 05:31 PM
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Default Speed Demon Spectacular - Ft. Lauderdale Gets The Green Flag for National Race

Powerboat Races Turn National, 80 Boats Expected as Ft. Lauderdale Hosts
The 2003 APBA Offshore GMC Pro Grade Tour for October
Grand Bahamas Races move to 2004 Line-Up

9/3/03 Ft. Lauderdale, FL - - Race Promoter Michelle May - Schmidt, of Coral Springs, planned conservatively for the upcoming Ft. Lauderdale Offshore Gran Prix, slated for October 3rd & 4th, 2003. As a first year promoter, she chose a sanction from APBA Offshore Powerboat Racing LLC, to run a divisional event.

Yet, when the opportunity came about to step in and pick up a slot on the GMC Pro Grade National Series a year early, the 43 year old wife and mother of two teenager daughters met with governing officials and propelled herself, and her race into the fast lane.

"We awarded Michelle the opportunity to join our National Series because of her dedication to the sport. Her background in franchising, marketing, and media relations, plus a six year history working in the sport will bring the fans in Ft. Lauderdale right into victory lane with this event," said Michael Allweiss, CEO of APBA Offshore Powerboat Racing, LLC, the fastest growing and largest offshore powerboat racing association in the world.

"When our previously scheduled North American Championships for the Grand Bahamas, hosted by the Ministry of Tourism, was moved from September 27th - 30th, to a new date of April 16th - 18th, 2004, we called Michelle, confident that together, we could upgrade her event within the next thirty days. Quite simply, our "NASCAR on the Water" Show is something that any motorsports fan just has to see to believe and Ft. Lauderdale is the perfect forum for it. We also hope that many of the fans we meet here will follow us back to the Bahamas in April of next year to enjoy our tropical setting there as well," added Allweiss.

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism will be Honorary VIP Guests of the Ft. Lauderdale Race, and information on the Grand Bahamas race event will be available to fans and teams who stop in at Race Headquarters over the event weekend.

"We have spent the last few days upgrading our event to be able to house 80+ of the fastest catamarans and vee bottoms in the country. It has been a joint effort by everyone. We couldn't have done it without the help of the Marine Advisory Board, the City of Ft. Lauderdale and their Police, Fire, Rescue and Marine Patrol Units, the Lauderdale Small Boat Club, the Miami Coast Guard Group, the Radisson Bahia Mar Beach Resort and Yachting Center, the APBA Offshore National Staff, the Ft. Lauderdale Race Committee, and of course, my family," laughs Schmidt. Her husband Steven is President of Competitive EDGE Marine, a locally based race shop with three teams of his own competing in the event.

"The Ft. Lauderdale Offshore Gran Prix will officially become the largest fleet to hit the shores of South Florida in powerboating history," bragged the car pool mom, known to youngsters as "The Powerboat Lady," for her visits to schools with raceboat in tow for Career Days.

Schmidt says that a key part to the success of the event this year is the support she receives from many of her clients and corporate sponsors, such as Ray Anthony of Anthony Holdings International. His New Auto Toy Store, Anthony Aviation, Anthony Crane and Aqua Toy Store facilities are donating services and funds to absorb much of the higher costs of operation, from the cranes, to the very helicopters that will fly over the races and deploy rescue divers in the event of an emergency during the racing competition.

The event, part of the 2003 Child SMILE America Tour, will benefit Kids In Distress (KID) who will receive a $20,000.00 donation from the Barkley Geib Family, another of Schmidt's clients, on behalf of the race event. In fact, the funds will go a long way in underwriting the all new Child SMILE America Room at KID, as part of a five-year, $75,000.00 commitment to help the severely abused children that are given counseling, and shelter there.

"It's all about the little people," said Geib, who along with National and World Champion powerboat racing dentist, Dr. Gerardo Santiago, will provide powerboat rides to the children from Kids In Distress on Friday of race week.

Due to its newly acquired National Status, the race weekend and offshore competition will also be filmed, and televised on Speed Channel in late fall.

Along with the raceboats on display, The New Auto Toy Store Thunder Row Race Pits located at the Radisson Bahia Mar will also feature exotic cars, the latest pleasure boats, racing and boating apparel, pit parties and the post race, champagne shoot-out. Pit entry is $10 per day/ $15 for both Friday and Saturday and Kids 12 & under are free. Each entrant also receives a complimentary, full color Offshore Racing Program that includes information on the races themselves, as well as the teams that will compete, courtesy of Poker Runs America Magazine. Fans are encouraged to use the Program to gain autographs from the racers, and cameras are always welcome.

While testing on the course will be held on Friday from 9:00 A.M. until 3:00 P.M, on Saturday, there will be a designated, yellow zoned spectator viewing area in the water off the course for those wishing to watch the event from their own personal water craft. The Radisson is also offering special day rates at their newly constructed, innovative marina facilities for those who wish to visit the Race Pits by boat.

Dock slips are available by calling the Radisson, and they are also offering special race fan weekend hotel rates to the public. Reservations for rooms and dock slips may be made by calling 954-764-2233, and asking for the Ft. Lauderdale Offshore Gran Prix. Internet hotel reservations may be made via, using code FLOGP.

On Saturday, October 4th, racing action will heat up starting at 11:00 A.M. off the shores of the world famous "Strip" from the Radisson Bahia Mar to just south of Sunrise Boulevard. Viewing of the races is always free.

First on the lineup is the featured attraction with the Super Cats boasting speeds in excess of 140+ miles per hour starting the Show. Next on the onwater NASCAR track will be the Vee bottoms, followed by the Performance "Speed Bracket" competition along with the "Battle of the Bats," between winged, one design competitors that literally fly over the water.

The Thunder Row Race Pits will be open all day Friday from 10:00 A.M. until 8:00 P.M. as well on Saturday, from 9:00 A.M. until 8:00 P.M. The group is reserving Sunday for racing as well; in the event rain does not allow all teams to compete on Saturday. After the races, will be a Victory Lane Celebration Party at 9:00 P.M. hosted at Shooters Waterfront Café, on the Intracoastal south of Oakland Park Boulevard. Fans are invited to join in the festivities there as well.

"Rain or shine, we hope the fans will come by and support the event. On Saturday, make plans to get to the beach early and bring plenty of sunscreen. We're planning on a sunny weekend," says Schmidt optimistically, and adds that a few more sponsorship opportunities are available for those who wish to promote their products, entertain their current and prospective clients, or lend community support by getting involved.

The Ft. Lauderdale Offshore Gran Prix is presented by The New Auto Toy Store, The Aqua Toy Store, Anthony Aviation, Anthony Holdings International, the Radisson Bahia Mar Beach Resort & Yachting Center, Competitive EDGE Marine,, Poker Runs America Magazine and the Offshore Racing Review.

Event Sponsors include Budweiser, Coca Cola Products, Hummerzine, Southern Racing Fuels, Sunoco, Freeze Frame Video, Jamie Russell's Professional Offshore Photography, Sea Tow, Elite Tent Company, Total Race Babe Apparel, Chief Engines, Cigarette Racing Team, Mares Power Cats, Racing Communications, Bio Kleen, Mercury Racing, Powerboat Magazine, Phoenix Custom Apparel, Sunstream Docks, Marine Technology, Inc.,, Shooters Waterfront Café, the Best Western Marina and Featherlite's Universal Luxury Coaches.

The APBA Offshore GMC Pro Grade Tour is sponsored APBA Offshore Powerboat Racing LLC is sponsored by GMC Vortec, Donzi, GMC, Snap-On, Formula Racing, Sunoco Race Fuels, Reindl Powerboats, the Lanier Harbor Marina Poker Run, Sterling Performance, Joule Yacht Transport, Bio Kleen Products, DART, KISS Cote, Heli broker, Racing Communications, Freeze Frame Video, Ashley Corporation, Marine Securities/Sternlock, Featherlite Luxury Coaches, Speedwear and Grand Bahama Island.

For all information on the Ft. Lauderdale Offshore Gran Prix, including the latest updates to the schedule, hotel information, volunteer forms, spectator course coordinates, or entering as a competitor, visit, and make sure to stop by often for additional news updates.

Sponsorship inquires may contact Schmidt via emails from the site or at [email protected], Tel/Fax: 954-796-9226.

For more information on the APBA Offshore GMC Pro Grade Series or Key West Offshore World Championships, visit
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Old 09-05-2003, 06:27 PM
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Congratulations and best of luck for a safe and successful event. We just had the BEST RACES EVER HELD IN SARASOTA thanks to APBA-Offshore and especially to Anthony Puccio and all the Sarasota Offshore Showdown personnel and all our volunteers who put it all together.
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Old 09-05-2003, 09:07 PM
Enjoy the show
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Good for you Michelle. I'm sure you'll make it a great event!
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Old 09-05-2003, 09:35 PM
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Good News!
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Old 09-05-2003, 11:54 PM
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Thumbs up congrats on your race!


Great job there girl! A little patience and alot of marketing goes a long way. We'll be there with (2) boats. Sea Tow is excited about their participation in your event as well.

Brian Hollis / Throttles
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Old 09-06-2003, 08:45 AM
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Thanks you guys!!

It's going to be a tight squeeze, but I think that everyone knows we have to sacrifice bringing
all the toys, trailers, rv's this time out for the fact that it is going to be one heck of a race
and a really fun weekend.
I'll look forward to seeing you guys there!

You'll be pleased to know that our webmaster extraordinare and Prez from OSO, Steve, will be one of the official paceboats for the event and we want all the OSO fans that can to come support the event, DEFINITELY JOIN THE PARTIES in the PITS and at the World Famous Shooters Waterfront Cafe after
the races on Saturday NIght at 9:00pm!!!!
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Old 09-06-2003, 05:15 PM
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I'd be interested to know how many OSO members will be bringing their boats as a spectator off the course? If we get enough interest, I can set up an official OSO section for you guys in the spectator zone. If you are coming by boat (not racing) then maybe post your name & boat name/type here and lets see if we can get this together!!

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Old 09-06-2003, 10:51 PM
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Lick-it-y-split will be there.

33 Powerplay.........

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Old 09-06-2003, 10:58 PM
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Formula Outlaw will be there (if the drive's fixed by then)
Formula 311-SR1/"Outlaw"
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Old 09-08-2003, 08:48 AM
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Excellent news!
Way to go.
I'm sure it will be another great race.
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