It’s hard to believe, but in just three months many of the fastest boats in the country, along with thousands of other go-fast powerboat enthusiasts, will gather on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri for the 24th annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Hosted by Captain Ron’s Bar & Grill, the top-speed event features two days of racing on Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 25-26), along with a whole week packed with festivities on and off the popular waterway.
Speedonthewater.com is proud to be the Official Boating Website of the Shootout, and will be providing frequent updates on the event before, during and after. So with only 12 weeks remaining until the R/C Boat Mini Shootout kicks things off on Saturday, Aug. 18, we figured now was as good a time as ever to see what’s in store for the 2012 Shootout.
After running into event organizer Ron Duggan at the Desert Storm Poker Run in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., of all places, I followed up with the owner of Captain Ron’s and found out that new radar equipment has been purchased and the event is planning a tribute to Shootout legends Bob Morgan and Jeff Tillman, who died last November in a boat crash at the Key West World Championships in in Key West, Fla.
“Bob meant so much to this event that we’re going to honor him and Jeff in a major way,” Duggan said. “We’ll be raising as much money as possible for local charities, too. Once again, we’ll have a day of charity rides and a Shootout benefit auction.”
In 2011, the events surrounding the Shootout raised a record-setting $70,000, which was donated to 20 different organizations. At the same time, Bill Tomlinson and Ken Kehoe tied the course record with a 208-mph run in Tomlinson’s turbine-powered 50-foot Mystic catamaran My Way.
To address concerns from participants about top-speed accuracy, Duggan said the event will feature new state-of-the-art radar equipment. “The guns are capable of recording speeds up to 850 mph, so I think we’ll be OK this year,” Duggan said with a smile.
In an effort to get in more speed runs, Duggan said the event will start earlier on Saturday morning so the thousands of boats and spectators lined up to watch the Shootout can enjoy even more runs along the 1-mile course.
Check out www.lakeoftheozarksshootout.org for the full schedule and more details, and keep an eye on speedonthewater.com for Shootout updates, including a list of registered boats.