ATLANTIC CITY - The Offshore Powerboat Association has not been able to get through a race this season without an accident.
Sunday's Atlantic City Offshore Grand Prix, the third stop in the OPA's event schedule, was marred by a collision between Super Vee Lite competitors Pirate Racing of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Forked River-based Wild Ride.
"Our class must be jinxed or something," Wild Ride driver Matt Przemielewski said afterward at race headquarters at Golden Nugget Atlantic City. "We've had three races this season so far, and there's been a collision every week. It actually even goes back to the end of last year."
Pirate Racing driver David Denham was taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center City Campus with an unspecified rib injury. Wild Ride throttleman Frank Przemielewski was also suffering from sore ribs afterward, while his son, driver Matt Przemielewski, was feeling a little woozy after his helmet smacked the side of the protective canopy.
Both boats withdrew from the race immediately and headed back to the docks at Golden Nugget.
"We're not totally sure what happened," Matt Przemielewski said. "I'd lost them in the mirror and then I remember getting struck and hit in the back of the boat. It all happens so fast because you don't have time to brace yourself. We just fell to the right and my helmet hit the side of the canopy."
On Saturday, an unidentified boat capsized during a test run in the ocean.
Pirate Racing and Wild Ride were among approximately 20 boats competing in the first of two races conducted off the beach Sunday in front of the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
The group also included Toms River-based Hurricane Force, which was in the Class 600 field, but was racing directly behind Pirate Racing and Wild Ride at the time of their collision.
"Nobody was at fault," Hurricane Force owner and throttleman Joe Wnek said. "They were right next to each other going into a turn. Wild Side spun clockwise and Pirate Racing spun counter-clockwise and the back of their boat was on the back of Wild Side's boat.
"Nobody did anything wrong. Every boat knows the rules when it comes to racing, but no matter what, you can't judge what's going to happen on the water. That's boat racing," Wnek said.