First launched in 1988, Central Missouri’s The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout has long been considered one of the best unsanctioned boat races in the U.S. What started out as an informal “who’s got the fastest boat” contest between friends is now, 33 years later, one of the largest fundraisers at the Lake of the Ozarks. The Shootout, which takes place at Captain Ron’s Bar & Grill in Sunrise Beach, brings together speed enthusiasts who individually race to log the fastest speed and be crowned the overall “Top Gun.”
Considered a must-see event by Boating Magazine, this year the event took place on August 28 and 29, and we’re proud to say Mystic once again came out on top!
Mystic’s Reign at The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout
Roughly 100 boats make up the Shootout’s competitive field, with boaters competing in more than 60 different race divisions, including professional, non-professional, and manufacturer classes. There were 253 total runs, 64 more than last year’s event, which was hampered by bad weather.
The reigning Shoot champion heading into this year’s race was American Ethanol, a 2013 51-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran owned by Don Onken. As a six-years-in-a-row defending champion, Onken was looking to top or match his 2020 speed of 202 mph. Fans hoping for the same were likely a little disappointed that this year’s average top speed was “only” 184 mph (the fifth run did hit 193 mph), but it was still enough to score American Ethanol its seventh consecutive win for Onken, who was inducted into the Shootout Hall of Fame in 2019.
Highlights of 2021’s Lake of the Ozarks Shootout
Saturday saw 71 boats lay down more than 100 runs in everything from pontoons to big catamarans, v-bottoms, and surprisingly fast electric boats. Thirty boats hit triple-digit speeds, with American Ethanol taking the crown for its 184 mph third run. Jim Schultz and Mike Faucher placed a nice second at 161 mph in their v-bottom, and Jamin Jones cruised into third place at 160 mph.
There were plenty of records set that day, with Brad Rowland, who’s been participating since 2003, hitting a new Shootout pontoon record of 113 mph. A fun surprise during the annual Shootout Air Show featured a plane flying blowing pink smoke in a gender reveal for the grandchild of Captain Ron and Nicole Duggan, who own Captain Ron’s.
Sunday’s competition started with a literal bang when the pistons in Tyler Crockett’s 26-foot Joker v-bottom let go before he reached the end of the three-quarter-mile course. He still managed to reach an impressive 132 mph, his fastest ever in the Central Missouri event.
A story everyone is watching is that of electric-powered boats. When these “slow boats” made their first appearance at the Shootout in 2018, the top speed was 25 mph. Three years later, the Vision Marine Technologies-powered Bruce 22 hit nearly 50 mph in its final run. Many designers and boaters believe electric models offer a glimpse into the not-too-distant future of boating, with versions coming to the consumer market soon.
The Enduring Appeal of the Ozarks Shootout
Lake of the Ozarks is the Midwest’s boating mecca which over the past two years has drawn more permanent residents and visitors than realtors and businesses say they’ve ever seen. A high-speed action event, the Shootout consistently draws massive crowds to the area; this year’s event drew tens of thousands of spectators by land and water alike. And while the races, acrobatic aerial stunts, live music, vendors villages, fundraiser auction, and awards ceremony occur over the weekend, many people make it a week-long adventure, taking in the fun happenings prior to the main attraction, such as:
- “Mini Shootout” remote control boat races take place at Ha Ha Tonka State Park and raise around $10,000 for local charities. More than 70 boats registered for this year’s event, which is always a fun time for the entire family.
- The “Float Your Boat” hand-made boat races are held to benefit food pantries in the surrounding counties. Participants must build a boat using only cardboard and duct tape, and prizes are given to the first, second, and third-place winners.
- The Great Shootout Treasure Hunt is held at Captain Ron’s. All pirates of all ages are invited to dig and search for treasure chests filled with prizes. The grand prize winner receives a Hammerhead Mudhead Off-Road Go Cart, so the competition is fierce. An ice cream social hour helps everyone cool off from all their hard work.
- The Lake of the Ozarks Bob Morgan Memorial Shootout Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony recognizes those who have supported the Shootout through the years. The award comes as a surprise to recipients who are always honored to receive it.
- The “Shootout on the Strip” Meet and Greet is a fantastic family event where more than 5,000 people come to see the participating boats up close and personal. Owners and racers are available for photos and autographs, and there’s a boat parade that slowly makes its way to The Strip. It’s a popular event, and it can often be difficult to tell who’s the most excited to meet whom!
- A judged car, truck, and bike show, the Dyno, Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Show includes competitive classes and plaques for class winners.
- The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Poly Lift Poker Run occurs at eight participating locations around the Lake of the Ozarks. Frequently referred to as the “most famous poker run” in the country, it takes place the day before the Shootout races.
- “Wishing on a Ride” powerboat rides for the Make a Wish Foundation create memorable, cool moments for kids who want to experience the thrill of speed racing, with owners and captains taking kids on high-speed rides on the lake prior to the weekend’s races.
Indeed, all proceeds raised during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout and its related events are donated to eight Lake-area fire and rescue departments as well as numerous charitable organizations around the Lake of the Ozarks. Last year, the Shootout raised $400,000 for the local fire departments and 32 different charities!
Must-See Boating Events Around the Country
The Shootout is considered one of the country’s top powerboat racing events, and for good reason. Here are some of the other important shows in the U.S. you might want to consider attending. These shows are not only a great way to catch up on the latest boating trends, but they’re also a terrific opportunity for meeting like-minded speedboat enthusiasts.
- The Roar Offshore Powerboat Races is the final stop of the American Power Boat Association (APBA) National Championship series. It takes place in October on Fort Myers Beach and always delivers plenty of powerboat racing excitement.
- The Great Lakes Grand Prix in Michigan City will have its 13th edition from August 4-7, 2022. It features many of the world’s fastest and most powerful offshore boats as well as exciting P1 AquaX racing. There are plenty of opportunities to chat with boat owners, racers, and team members, and the weekend calendar is jam-packed with live entertainment, food, drink, family fun, and speed!
- The Branson Grand Prix of Missouri Powerboat Nationals Race is an entertaining event filled with at least ten of the world’s latest, fastest, and sleekest inshore powerboats. Next year’s events will be held in May, June, July, and September and are guaranteed to be the perfect two-day thrill for speed addicts. And as the racecourse is designed to stay near the shoreline, you can count on it being a spectacular spectator sport.
- The Race World Offshore Key West Championships will take place from November 7 to 14, 2021. Race World Offshore is the country’s premier offshore racing sanctioning body and features some of the most experienced teams in all offshore racing.
- The Ocean Cup’s Huntington Beach Around Catalina Island endurance race takes place in early October in conjunction with the Pacific Airshow. An APBA-sanctioned event, the race begins at Huntington Beach Pier, circumnavigates Catalina Island, and finishes back at the starting point. The Cup events are thrilling events where man and machine take on the forces of nature for a true test of power, navigation, and endurance.
As more live events return to the scene, you’ll also find plenty of upcoming can’t-miss boat shows. Like most things, boat shows are changing, focusing less on repeat boat buyers and looking to appeal to multiple generations who just so happen not to want the same things from their boating experiences.
First-time boat buyers and those new to the world of boating can attend multiple shows to get a taste of the boating lifestyle. Boating companies are working hard to make meaningful, impactful connections with buyers while looking to provide them with a more streamlined experience. They want the boat buying and ownership experience to be an enjoyable one, and they’re pulling out all the stops to make it happen.
You don’t need to look far to find a boat show near you. In Florida, you have the Daytona Boat Show, the Miami International Boat Show, and the Fort Myers Boat Show. You can also find long-time events in Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Nashville, Baltimore, Atlantic City, Seattle, and more.
About Mystic Powerboats’ C4000 Catamaran
Don Onken’s winning American Ethanol catamaran turned eight years old this year. In the time since it was designed and built, Mystic’s high-speed catamarans have gone through a lot of changes.
Always defined by innovative design, unmatched looks, and fine craftsmanship, each Mystic catamaran has done its part to take speed and luxury to new levels. Our fourth-generation Mystic C4000 catamarans are fuel-efficient, intuitive to run, and sleek and stylish. They offer all the speed you’re looking for but are also ideal for relaxing days on the water. Our cats deliver the most comfortable rough-water ride supported by:
- Comfortable, functional luxury with stylish interiors that are also practical.
- Ample cushioning.
- An open cockpit.
- 450R outboard power.
Our newest catamaran is also lighter and swifter than previous models, accelerating harder to please high-performance cat lovers everywhere.
Anyone who loves speed and adventure out on the water should seriously consider a high-power cruising catamaran. With its impressive looks and easy manageability, the Mystic C4000 provides distinct benefits other catamarans simply don’t. Advantages include:
- Two hulls for superior stability at rest and on the water.
- Twin-engine propellers are set wide apart, making for easy maneuverability and spinning.
- The ability to head into more shallow waters.
We like to say the journey is the joy. A custom-designed and built luxury catamaran from Mystic Powerboats can show you just how accurate that saying is!
If you’re ready to invest in a custom-built luxury catamaran, you won’t be disappointed by the performance and design of a Mystic catamaran. Contact us online today to schedule a personal consultation and to learn more about the joys of owning and operating a C4000.