Special thanks to our Platinum Sponsor: Woodward Industries, Inc. & Double R Performancewoodward

Double R

Jay Enn Concord
J-R Marine

OUR BACKGROUND Buffalo, New York is located on Lake Erie and the upper Niagara River between the United States and Canada. The Niagara River flows out of Lake Erie and branches to the East and West River around Grand Island, New York, and eventually flows over Niagara Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The lower Niagara river continues northward through the Niagara Gorge eventually emptying into Lake Ontario, directly across is Toronto, Canada, With two of the five Great Lakes within a stone’s throw of Buffalo, it is no wonder that the western New York region is rich in powerboat racing history.

Starting in the early 1900’s, Gold Cup Racers like Gar Wood, Edsel Ford, Horace Dodge, and Guy Lombardo shuffled off to Buffalo every year to race in front of the Buffalo Launch Club, the oldest powerboat club in America. The first local race clubs were the Marsh Boat and Gun Club, B & T Boat Club, and Niagara Frontier Boat Racing Association. NFBRA hosted the first divisional offshore event in Buffalo and was organized by Humphrey Stinson and assisted by Jay Smith from APBA in 1986 and continued through the early 1990’s.

CLUB HISTORY In 1984, a Buffalo group of offshore boat enthusiasts founded the Western New York Offshore Powerboat Association Inc. This club, WNYOPA Inc. for short was formed as a high performance boating club (pre poker run) for local club boat races all out fun. In 1988, the WNYOPA Inc. assisted the nearby city of Rochester, New York forming the Rochester Offshore Powerboat Association, now known as the ROPA. WNOPA Inc. reinstituted the Grand Island Marathon that began in the 1950’s and 40 plus offshore classics including Magnum, Velocity, Pantera, Excalibur, Scarab and three Chris Cats were raced deck to deck by the members. The two clubs continued to race the around Grand Island together through 1989. The race would come within a few thousand feet from the brink of Niagara Falls and would prove to be a test of equipment attrition true to its marathon name.

In 1987, WNYOPA Inc. organized a race of shorter duration on a closed course, which simplified safety and permit regulations. The race was called from a three tier race tower in Isle View Park on the Niagara River; the race tower was built for hydroplane races held from 1950’s through the late 1980’s. WNYOPA Inc. used this facility to attracted hundreds of spectators to the new closed race course. The short course race was held every summer from 1987 to 1992. In 1988 the Champion Offshore Boat racing Association COBRA was started to bring APBA racing to Buffalo and conducted eleven sanctioned APBA races and two kilo speed runs for the world speed record and remained in existence until 1993. Many notable world champion and local racers participated in these events including John Delia and Digger Dergens, Joe Scro and Joe Latona Gary Rotundo and Al Acksel, Sonny and Tina Hawkins, Alex Murchison and Joe Trombley, Bill Gifford, Carlton Meyers, Peter Meyers, Nori Subunca, Jim DeNooyer, Bruce Bonhoff, Tom Alf, Bob Hanger, Alex Catalaino, and many others.

In 1991, due to insurance, permits and logistics, WYNOPA Inc. organized the now popular “Poker Run”. This event has continued annually for the past 18 years along with associated club picnics, and radar runs to fill the members need for speed. Recently one of the founding member’s speedometer was radar calibrated at more than 140 mph. This summer WNYOPA Inc. will host its 19th annual Poker Run in August. We invite you to consider Buffalo New York as a Poker Run destination this year.

 

 

Calendar of Events

May 13th, 2014 – 7pm
Monthly Members Meeting
River Grill
70 Aqua Lane
Tonawanda, NY
New members are welcome to join.

June 10th, 2014 – 7pm
Monthly Members Meeting
Ray’s Boat House (Ask a member for directions)
New members are welcome to join.

June 15th, 2014 – 12pm
3rd Annual Father’s Day Brunch
Templeton Landing
2 Templeton Terrace
Buffalo, NY
Tickets available here.

July 8th, 2014 - 7pm
Monthly Members Meeting
Ray’s Boat House (Ask a member for directions)
New members are welcome to join.

August 5th, 2014 - 7pm
Monthly Members Meeting
Ray’s Boat House (Ask a member for directions)
New members are welcome to join.

August 8th-9th, 2014
Buffalo Poker Run
Templeton Landing
2 Templeton Terrace
Buffalo, NY
Must Register by July 1st, 2014
No registration at the door, No exceptions.

Register here.

Sponsor online here.

GoPro HD HERO Camera @ GoPro.com
 
 
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