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The Lake News Online
  • Shootout throttles up next weekend

  • A spectacle that draws tens of thousands to the Lake of the Ozarks every summer returns. The 23rd annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout features a week of high speeds, sunshine, parties and fun.


    The largest unsanctioned boat race in the United States takes place Aug. 27-28, but Shootout festivities run for a week leading up to the 200 mph thrills.


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  • A spectacle that draws tens of thousands to the Lake of the Ozarks every summer returns. The 23rd annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout features a week of high speeds, sunshine, parties and fun.
    The largest unsanctioned boat race in the United States takes place Aug. 27-28, but Shootout festivities run for a week leading up to the 200 mph thrills.
    Nauti Marine owner W. David Scott announced earlier this year that he would not seek a fourth consecutive Top Gun title, what would be his ninth crown. In 2010, Scott and throttleman John Tomlinson reached 208 mph, becoming the first team to break 200 mph in three years of racing at Captain Ron's.
    "Breaking 200 was really my last personal goal with offshore boats," Scott said.
    Scott says the plan to sit out the 2011 Shootout will allow him some time to relax, enjoy the event, and interact more with racing fans.
    "It doesn't mean we're done, it doesn't mean we'll not come back and run the event later," Scott said. "We know the boat's got more in it, but at the same time I think overall I will be glad I went to enjoy myself."
    Scott's boat will be one of several at the Shootout on the Strip street party, which takes place Wednesday, Aug. 24 on the Bagnell Dam strip. Many of the Shootout's most impressive racing machines will be on display from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    The street party gives race fans  a chance to get a close up look at the boats, meet the drivers and crews and soak up some of the Shootout fun.
    Nauti Marine's mark of 208 mph is 1 mph shy of the all time Shootout record that Dave Callan and John Cosker set in Miss Longlite in 2006.
    Scott's decision not to enter the Nauti Marine Mystic in the 2011 Shootout will allow someone else to win the overall Top Gun title at Captain Ron's for the first time. The team behind "the world's fastest pleasure boat," hopes a trip to Missouri will end with a silver cup.
    At last year's Shootout, Chip Romer drove his Chief Engines-powered 388 Skater at a speed of 186 mph. Pure Platinum has a real shot to break the 190-mph barrier and wow the crowd in 2011.
    "It all depends on how the water is and the wind. It's all up to Mother Nature, if she's willing to play we're ready to go," Pure Platinum crew chief Jason Ventura said.
    Skater holds Lake of the Ozarks Skaterfest in conjunction with the Shootout. The gathering of Skater owners should ensure that the brand will be well represented over the two days of racing.
    Greg Olson, a business owner from Alliane, Neb., hopes his Eliminator 33 Daytona can steal the show against larger competitors. Last year, his boat Fatal Attraction shocked the Shootout crowd with a 182 mph pass.
    Page 2 of 3 - "I'd love to get the Top Gun once," Olson said.
    Olson represents Shootout competitors of the old school. He is not a professional driver, nor does he have sponsorships. His annual pilgrimage to the Shootout has elements more of a vacation than a business trip. He usually brings friends with him and devotes equal time to recreation and racing.
    Two of the lake's best-known boat racers are thundering back to the Shootout.
    Two-time Key West World Championship winner Bob Morgan and his driver, lake developer Jeff Tillman, will fire up the newly renamed Big Thunder boat for a shot at Shootout Top Gun.
    The impetus for this year's run is the return of Big Thunder Motorsports to Lake of the Ozarks after a five-year absence.
    Part of the Big Thunder return to racing is the renaming of the 46-foot, 4,400 horse-power Skater to be used in the Shootout. Bad Moon Rising will again become Big Thunder. Owner and throttleman Bob Morgan won the Key West World Championship of offshore powerboat racing in 1998 and 2001.
    Although not as sleek or fast as Skaters, MTI's and Mystics, pontoon race boats are always popular with fans and this year is no exception. A pair of show stealers will stage the third chapter of their deadlocked battle on Shootout weekend.
    In 2009, Ken Gouty and Brad Rowland each achieved speeds of 91 mph in their respective pontoons. In an effort to settle an unthinkable tie, both men reached speeds of 100 mph in 2010. The second tie left an even bigger score to settle this August. Something has to give, and someone must truly possess the fastest pontoon on Lake of the Ozarks.
    Gouty, of Antioch, Ill., pilots Little Putt-Putt, a 27-foot PlayCraft pontoon propelled with a 1,200 hp supercharged engine. The 540-cubic inch engine has a quad rotor that forces air into its intake in the same manner that the engine in a top fuel dragster takes in air.
    Rowland will be dialed in with Tooned In, a South Bay 925.
    Shootout week schedule
    Sunday, Aug. 21—Great Shootout Treasure Hunt at Captain Ron's (5 p.m.-10 p.m.)
    Monday, Aug. 22—Shootout Benefit Golf Tournament at Indian Rock Golf Course (12 p.m. registration and lunch, 1 p.m. shotgun start)
    Tuesday, Aug. 23—celebrity volleyball tournament at Captain Ron's, 10 a.m.
    Wednesday, Aug. 24—2nd annual RC Mini-Shootout boat race (7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.), Shootout on the Strip street party in Lake Ozark (6 p.m.-10 p.m.)
    Thursday, Aug. 25—PWC Dam Run at Surdyke Yamaha (9 a.m. registration, 10 a.m. start), benefit auction at Captain Ron's (6 p.m.-8 p.m.)
    Friday, Aug. 26—Poker Run start at Shady Gators (7:30 a.m.), Stereo Shootout at Shady Gators (6 p.m.), fireworks at Captain Ron's (9 p.m.)
    Page 3 of 3 - Saturday, Aug. 27—Shootout racing (10 a.m.-5 p.m.), Sugarbush and Shaman's Harvest concert at Captain Ron's (7 p.m.)
    Sunday, Aug. 28—Shootout racing (10 a.m.-5 p.m.), awards ceremony (6 p.m.)
    Contact Lake Sun reporter Rance Burger at rance.burger@lakesunonline.com.
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