Offshore powerboat Grand Prix returns to Point Pleasant Beach

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POINT PLEASANT BEACH -

The annual Point Pleasant Beach offshore powerboat Grand Prix will be returning to New Jersey later this month after the event was canceled last year due to a death.

A racer from Ocean County died during the event in 2017 after the opening lap.

“There’s absolutely a cloud over [the race]. But all the racers know what they are getting involved in and before they stop on that boat they know what’s involved,” says Scott Schleuss, driver of the boat Typhoon. “You have to move on. The race must go on.”

The Jersey Mike’s New Jersey Offshore powerboat Grand Prix will be held May 17-20. The event dates back to 1969 but was most popular in the 1970s. It was affectionately known as “The Benihana” after its former sponsor.

“We are one of the oldest races in America. The old Benihana, the Hennessy, the Ray Catena. These all date back to the 70s and we have a lot of history here in Point Pleasant,” says Angelo Juliano of the New Jersey Powerboat Racing Association.

Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Stephen Reid brought back the race in 2016 after a hiatus, on a shorter, fan-friendlier course.

The powerboats are able to get up to 140 mph. More than three dozen boats are expected to compete in the race.

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