Commentary: Why The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Still Matters

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Although you won’t see the gaudy numbers of years past, there’ll still be plenty of intrigue at the nation’s premiere powerboating top-speed event this month. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

For any number of reasons, the 244-mph Lake of the Ozarks Shootout top-speed record set by Steve Curtis and Sheik Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani in a turbine-powered 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran in 2014 will never fall. Yes, I know that records are made to be broken, that you should never say never, that you “never know”—I could go on with the mindless clichés but I won’t—but that surreal mark was the product of all the right things, deep pockets and even deeper desire among them, coming together at just the right time. And even if the shootout course on the popular Central Missouri waterway hadn’t been shortened this year to three-quarters-of-a-mile from it original one-mile length, that record is safe forever.

Don’t believe me? That’s OK. Hope and optimism are good things. But that untouchable record won’t be broken. What’s more, American Ethanol, a 51-foot Mystic catamaran, won’t get close to the 217-mph run it laid down last year to claim the overall Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Top Gun title. And the chances of Dennis and Jason Parvey getting anywhere close to the outrageous 165-mph V-bottom mark they established last year in their 43-foot Black Thunder are non-existent.

So why should you even bother paying attention to the 2017 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Aug. 26-27?

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Ski Racing on the Mind

I’m the first to admit that my knowledge of water ski racing is pretty limited. Thankfully my friends at Nordic Boats—the Lake Havasu, City, Ariz., boat builder behind the formidable Nordic Racing ski team—keeps me up to speed. In fact, just today, before leaving for the airport for his flight to Seattle, I caught up with Randy Davis, the owner Nordic and driver of several of the United States Water Ski Racing Team’s competitors in the upcoming world championships.

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Nordic Racing’s Randy Davis is going to pull Women F1-class competitor Katelin Wendt with the No. 192 Nordic 21 SR powered by a single Mercury Racing 1350 engine at the 20th World Water Ski Racing Championships in Washington. Photo courtesy Nordic Boats

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Positive Observations

Early last week Justin Humphrey of Positive Trim—a relatively new boating lifestyle apparel company in Southern California—asked me if I’d mind sharing the new Positive Trim video that he recently released following a video and photography shoot on July 3 in Lake Havasu City, Calif. I clicked on it thinking I’d drop it up on the speedonthewater.com Facebook page and be done with it.

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Two models enjoy the afternoon on Lake Havasu during the Positive Trim promotional shoot. Photo by Tom Leigh/Tommy Gunn Images

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Summer Of Giving

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From Powerboating For A Cure (above) to Support Our Troops, the charitable go-fast boating events so far this summer have been spectacular. Photo courtesy/copyright Chuck Guthrie and John Ainslie.

Using the Memorial and Labor Day weekends as starting and ending points, we’re a little more than halfway through the summer boating season, at least as far as organized events with significant charitable components go. And what an amazing season it’s been so far.

Consider this:

•Inspired by an inspiring 15-year-old named Tanner Howard in honor of Art and Melissa McMahan and Anthony and Tammy Reece, the inaugural Memorial Fun Run on Kentucky’s Lake Cumberland raised almost $7,000 for the Jamestown Fire Department’s Lake Cumberland dive and rescue team.

•Spearheaded by big-hearted performance boating community member Greg Harris, the Jacksonville River Rally and Fun Run raised $11,500 for Camp Amigo, a nonprofit North Florida organization that provides a weeklong summer camping experience for kids recovering from the emotional and physical scars of severe burn injuries.

Read More: Summer Of Giving

Related stories
Family and Friends Pay Respects at Memorial Fun Run on Lake Cumberland
Jacksonville Fun River Rally Raises $3,500 and Counting for Camp Amigo
By The Numbers—Powerboating For A Cure Another Smashing Success
Lake Murray Poker Run Brings In $45,000 and Counting for Children’s Chance
Even More Support: Lake of the Ozarks Poker Run Raises $29,000
Vets Get Wet In Operation Shore Fun
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Commentary: Why Boyne Thunder Works

Commentary: Why Boyne Thunder Works

Feature articles are jigsaw puzzles for journalists. You start with a whole bunch of loose pieces and try to assemble them into a larger cohesive picture. On their own, the pieces mean very little, maybe even nothing. But together, they tell a complete and sometimes beautiful story.

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The new Rockette Skater catamaran—one fine piece of the 2017 Boyne Thunder Poker Run puzzle (click image to enlarge). Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

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