The 30 anniversary of the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout took place last weekend on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. The event didn’t disappoint the estimated crowds of about 100,000 people, who watched 88 registered competitors making in excess of 200 passes on the Midwest’s home of high-performance boating.
“Overall it was fantastic,” said Ron Duggan, the event organizer and owner of Captain Ron’s Lakefront Bar and Grill in Sunrise Beach, Mo. “We had great attendance all week long and we raised an absolute ton of money this time.”
When it was first established 30 years ago, the Shootout was a way to raise money for local fire departments. This year, Duggan said the goal was to raise more than $250,000 for 36 different charities, including nine local fire departments.
What started as a one-day event three decades ago has turned into a weeklong festival with a poker run, stereo shootout, radio-controlled boat competition, golf tournament and other events.
But even with all of the other parties and events, the focal point of the weekend remains the speed runs down the ¾-mile long course on Lake of the Ozarks. Boats start at 40 mph and when they get the green flag, drivers and throttleman slam the levers forward in the pursuit of being the fastest in their class and winning the Top Gun award for the weekend.
At this year’s event, Don Onken’s 51-foot Mystic catamaran, American Ethanol, matched its number from last year — 204 mph — with Mystic Powerboats president John Cosker on the throttles and Tony Battiato from local dealership, Big Thunder Marine, driving.
Despite crosswinds that disrupted some competitors on Saturday, more than 150 runs were made that day. Many spectators in attendance said that one boat from Canada stole the show. Mark Weigl, the president of Tuff Boats, made a pass of 115 mph on the course in one of his Tuff 28’s powered by a Mercury Racing 860 stern drive. When course conditions improved, Weigl returned to the course and made a picture-perfect run at 125 mph. Click here to see the video of the run.
Registration for the event for 2019 is at the following link.