If you are headed to the Shootout, there are a few things you should know. Read our five tips for more information about the boat races!

1. Designate A Captain

Everybody wants to have fun, but make sure to plan accordingly. The captain is in charge of his crew so if you plan to drink, don’t drive. With a large concentration of boats around the area of the Shootout, your captain should also stay alert at all times. There will be a lot of boats and people enjoying the Lake.

If you want to hire a captain, contacting the Lake of the Ozarks Captains Association is a great place to start. With about 40 licensed captains in the association, each captain sets their own rate, which varies depending on the type of service provided. Go to www.lotocaptain.com for more information.

2. Watch Your Wake

You’ve heard us say it before. Be courteous of other boats and property while driving at Lake of the Ozarks. Even if you are not in a no-wake zone, it’s important to make sure that your wake is not causing damage to others. Slow down, look around and operate at a safe speed.

Remember, state law prohibits plowing within 100 feet of docks and operating in a manner that puts lives or property in danger. Larger boats, such as cruisers, are asked to be especially mindful of plowing as smaller boats nearby are more vulnerable to being swamped by the large wakes a cruiser can create without care.

3. Idle Speed

There will be ample buoys marking the racecourse and a lengthly no-wake zone. The no-wake restriction is from the 31.5-mile marker to the 36-mile marker but, due to the number of spectator vessels, an extended no wake area will be in effect from 2-5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

That will stretch from the 31.5-mile mark to about the 24-mile mark. So be on the lookout for no-wake buoys!

4. Go Early

Pack up the cooler and get a head start. There are going to be a lot of boats on the water and heavy traffic by land, especially in the Sunrise Beach area, so plan extra time for travel. You don’t want to be rushed to catch the start of the opening ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

It’s going to be a nice weekend but if you plan to stay out all day you will want to be prepared. Grab lots of water, snacks and sunscreen. When it’s time to eat, there are a number of great waterfront restaurants located nearby. There’s nothing like dining on the water!

5. Change of Course

If you are returning to the Shootout this year, you will notice the course has changed a bit. It has been slightly shortened from one-mile to 3/4-of-a-mile. The course runs from near Cedar Cove at the 32.5-mile marker and ends just shy of the Hurricane Deck Bridge to the northwest.

The races will be held Saturday and Sunday. Racing on Saturday will start with PWC classes at 8:30 a.m. and continue with various classes until 4 p.m. On Sunday professional classes will run at 9 a.m. If you are going by car there is a $10 parking fee.