Thunder On Cocoa Beach is the loudest, fastest boat race in Florida
Thousands of people turned up at Minutemen Causeway, Lori Wilson Park and the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier over the weekend as the Thunder on Cocoa Beach Offshore Race returned for its 10th year on Florida’s Space Coast. Billed as One of the largest in Central Florida, the race draws the top race teams in the world to compete in various classes with the premier class reaching speeds over 175 mph.
Thunder On Cocoa Beach is the loudest, fastest boat race in Florida, and this year’s race features more world class race teams than even before. Bring the whole family out for four days and nights of race action including race parties, concerts, after parties, and chances to see the awesome race boats up close and to meet the teams that make it happen.
The 10th Annual Thunder on Cocoa Beach ushered in OPA/P1 Superstock’s 2019 offshore race season, as the first of four races ended with a victory for #516 Bronx Phantom/JT Social House in Class 5, #623 Boom Shaka Laka in Class 6, #404 SimmonsMarine.com in Class 4 and #28 Porta Products in P1 Superstock.
Boom Shaka Laka repeatedly traded off its lead with New Wave Marine, but the Boom prevailed.
Of the 20 or so boats racing in this first round, several competitors broke down or dropped out of the race, almost from the first lap—including Team Woody, Specialized Racing, Hammer Head and Strictly Business. Each were seen either coming off plane or being towed back to the pits during the competition.
Cats and vees mixed it up in Cocoa Beach for the second of four races in OPA/P1’s first meet of 2019. More than 20 competitors in Pro Stock Vee, Super Vee Extreme (SVX) and Super Stock classes converged on the Atlantic Ocean, with Travis Pastrana—leader of the popular extreme sports extravaganza Nitro Circus—racing in #1 JRA Boat Sales in SVX Class.
Racing in relatively flat conditions with 7-mph winds, the field of 11 cats racing in Super Stock class saw Shadow Pirate and FJ Propellertrading off the lead position, with Performance Boat Center/Auto Alert frequently gaining on both. In the end, Shadow Pirate continued its amazing winning streak, followed by Gary Ballough in his brand-new FJ Propeller Victory hull and the new Performance Boat Center/Auto Alert entry piloted by Myrick Coil and Rusty Williams.
Exciting Pro Stock Vee competition saw LSB Hurricane of Awesomeness/RevX Oil battling for the lead with Fast Boys, and then Fast Boys battling for second with Play It Again and Done Deal. LSB held on to its lead for the win.
In SVX class, Marker 17 Marine took an early lead, with Boatfloater and Sheriff Lobo close behind; the #17 boat took the win.
In the third of four Sunday races, the OPA/P1 Thunder in Cocoa Beach offshore race saw half a dozen competitors duking it out in Supercat class.
The New Zealand team Pro Floors took the lead out of the gate and stayed out in front for the entire race, although MCON was often chasing them by only a boat length or two, at times taking on their competitors’ punishing rooster tail spray in the turns. Meanwhile, Myrick Coil and Johnny Tomlinson in Performance Boat Center/Jimmy John’s tried valiantly to gain ground after having relatively little time to test their brand-new MTI. Though MCON made excellent gains in the corners, Pro Floors continually shot ahead in the straightaways. Pro Floors took the unofficial win, followed by MCON, Performance Boat Center/Jimmy John’s and WHM Motorsports.
Class One racing capped the Thunder in Cocoa Beach action as the OPA/P1 competition pitted the big offshore boats against each other. Nearly all of these boats were powered by identical 1,100 QC4 turbocharged engines from Mercury Racing.
The #222 Offshore boat from Australia (with driver Darren Nicholson and throttleman Giovanni Carpitella) took an early lead, but were soon passed by the #3 Victory team from Dubai (driver Salem Al Adidi and throttleman Eisa Al Ali). They themselves were passed by driver James Sheppard and throttleman Steve Curtis, piloting their famous Miss Geico Racing entry, which took the checkered flag and made short work of of #77 Lucas Oil as well. Meanwhile, #91 Zabo exited the race with a mechanical issue.
Driver Edward Smith and throttleman Anthony Smith of #20 Instigator ran uncontested in Vee Extreme class.