Thousands of boaters descended on Lake of the Ozarks over the weekend to take part in the 2018 Shootout with an enthusiasm that even an extended no-wake zone couldn’t dampen.

Thousands of boaters descended on Lake of the Ozarks over the weekend to take part in the 2018 Shootout with an enthusiasm that even an extended no-wake zone couldn’t dampen. Overall, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Water Patrol Division reported that things went well. Boaters were cooperative and made the best of the no-wake zone.

The modifications to the restricted area seemed to be the key to slowing down the large numbers of boaters heading out at one time after the races on Saturday evening. Although the no-wake restriction for the event included the stretch on the main channel from the 31.5-mile mark to the 36-mile mark, it also included from the 31.5-mile marker to the 21-mile marker downstream on Saturday.

The extended no-wake was in effect from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. The goal was to slow boaters down during the heaviest traffic time to prevent safety issues and property damage to lakefront property caused by wakes. The extended no-wake didn’t seem to deter the number of spectators who gathered to watch the races on the water. People downstream toward the 21-mile marker reported there wasn’t as much congestion and the no-wake rules made things better.

“The navigation restrictions for the Shootout were significant, and a lot to ask of boaters, but boaters responded well and were extremely cooperative,” MSHP Water Patrol Division Director Captain Matt Walz said “The restrictions are a necessary inconvenience when considering the growth of the event in recent years. The Patrol is appreciative of the cooperation received from boaters in attendance.”  

The Shootout had similar restrictions in place last year, but issues with boat wakes created by spectators leaving the event at the end of the no-wake period prompted the MSHP to extend the no-wake period later in the day for the 2018 event. The event draws thousands to Captain Ron’s at the 34-mile marker.

The venue has hosted the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout for the past decade. This year the Shootout celebrated its 30th anniversary with American Ethanol hanging on to the Top Gun trophy for the fourth consecutive year with a run of 204 mph down the one-mile course. Ron Duggan, owner of Captain Ron’s and member of the Shootout Committee said overall the event went well.