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To all Offshore Race Teams & Race Fans

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Old 09-17-2003, 12:07 AM
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powerboat princess
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Cool To all Offshore Race Teams & Race Fans

From Gary Nichols:

To all Offshore Race Teams and Race Fans,

I am writing this letter to answer some of your questions and give you information.
First of all, as most of you know I have a good relationship with both SBI and APBA Offshore and do NOT make decisions based on politics. I have friends who race both circuits and my sole interest is to be a contributor to Offshore boat racing, my community, and my state.
As a former Sprint car racer I was involved when U.S.A.C. outlawed the use of wings and the World of Outlaws were formed and how it hurt both organizations.
I feel like most of you, that the greatest thing for the future of Offshore racing is a united circuit. Unfortunately, we have to play the cards we are dealt.
I feel very bad for those of you who have had travel plans interrupted, cancelled , or changed. But some of you will still have a vacation in Key West. I wish you well. Some will stay home and pout, and some will visit us.
Communications with Michael started a couple of weeks ago about having a spring race in Orange Beach and we told him that SBI would do the August race. Our community was so excited about offshore racing that we felt we could have two races a year and it would not only help our economy, but help and benefit the sport.
Yes, we were not pleased about the APBA Offshore moving their race back a week to conflict with our first race, but we forgave and looked beyond that. In fact we were promised that APBA Offshore would not have a race on the same day SBI races in Orange Beach again.
Please keep in mind I am the same guy that got Bubba, Michael and Reggie in the same room. I am on Offshores future team and not on a political one.
I have been going to Key West for years to both circuit races and to enjoy the community and fun. I do believe that a community that has an event year after year can easily take things for granted and not have the same enthusiasm that brought you to the table in the first place. We are very aware of that and will make a continued effort to be a Superbowl team for offshore!
I really don't know all the facts about what went wrong with the Key West race and like a lot of you don't much care.
WE had just finished our first race which was a great success and had no plans for another race this year, nor did we feel we could raise the capital. Some said don't help them, but the majority of our board said lets help offshore racing and our community.
We DIDN'T want to inherit the Worlds by default- WE WANTED TO EARN IT! (but not this November) Since we have made this commitment a couple of days ago our community and sponsors have rallied with tremendous support and we will work diligently and endlessly to provide our very best to you. No, we are not Key West, but we are proud of what we have- beautiful beaches, fun places to go, and great people!
If you come here unwillingly, its not our fault. If you leave here unhappy- it is.

Answers to Questions:
(1) Race Date- the reason the race is moved back a week is not Michael's fault. It is football- The Alabama & Auburn game is a HUGE week end- it would have crippled our fund raising and spectator crowd.
(2)Weather- We usually boat into December and temperatures should be mid 60's
(3) Good News- What some of you may lose with lost reservations you will make up with savings of about 1/2 or greater on accommodations and accessibility to our race site. There will be no price gouging.
(4) We are presently working to have a poker run during race week.
(5) We have some great bars, live bands, and restaurants.
(6) We are a non-profit organization and are doing this for our community, the sport, and you!

God Bless!

Gary Nichols

Last edited by powerboat princess; 09-17-2003 at 12:34 AM.
 
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Old 09-17-2003, 12:18 AM
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Good luck Gary, I'm sure you'll put on a great show. I heard you did a superb job in August.
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Old 09-17-2003, 02:13 AM
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Good luck Gary! You're attitude and commitment are a breath of fresh air.

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Old 09-17-2003, 07:46 AM
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Gary, nice meeting you back in August, SBI put on one hell of a show for the fans and us racers as well and the city made us feel like we were at home. Thank You and Best of Luck. Augie
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Old 09-17-2003, 08:44 AM
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Thanks Gary, I am looking forward seeing you all, and I have heard great things about the last event!
I have tried to get a flight into Pensacola, from Ft. Lauderdale, or any S. FLa Airport, but no direct Flights...
Is that the closest Airport? Anyone know of an airline that has direct Flights?
Thanks for the info...
Mindi
 
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Old 09-17-2003, 08:47 AM
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Gary, absolute best of luck in having a great and safe race. Just for the record: APBA-Offshore was forced to move the Sarasota race up one week due to a conflict with a sailing regetta that has gone on the following week since the beginning of water. Trying to race that weekend had the blowboters up in arms about eight year olds out in sailing trams and having all of us "wild go fast freaks", quoting their spokesperson, and Mike just realized the potential negative publicity/fallout that would certainly have ensued. Unfortunately that fell on the weekend of your race, but that certainly was not done intentionally. We were in the same boat as you are now in, putting a national event together in 90 days. I had previously posted a "good luck" to your group for your previous race as I am of the same mindset, promote offshore racing, period. Again, best of luck in your "World's" and my wife and I are going to do our best to attend. I am scrambling now to reroute previous time committments. Show everyone a great time. Outlaw
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Old 09-17-2003, 08:55 AM
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Good luck Gary! I must admit i am not too pleased about this hole situation, but for the good of the sport ,thank god their are people like you out there to bail them out!!! Now as far as"we were promised that APBA would not have a race at the same time as the SBI Orange beach race again" I would get it in writing,triplicates,notorized and video taped!!
 
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Old 09-17-2003, 09:33 AM
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Gary, best of luck. This has the potential for becoming a great race and I'm sure all who make it to Orange Beach will have a great time. You show a great attitude, thanks.

See you all in Orange Beach.
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Old 09-17-2003, 09:44 AM
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Gary,

Best of luck - we will be there with 7 + boats for sure.
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Old 09-17-2003, 09:46 AM
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Nick,see ya at the Flora-Bamma Bar
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