This year when Steve Lee throws a leg over “Lets Dance” and starts down the course at Lake of the Ozarks 31st Annual Shootout, he will be attempting to reach the rarified atmosphere of holding the Top Gun Award in his PWC Modified Open Class for the fourth year in a row.

This year when Steve Lee throws a leg over “Lets Dance” and starts down the course at Lake of the Ozarks 31st Annual Shootout, he will be attempting to reach the rarified atmosphere of holding the Top Gun Award in his PWC Modified Open Class for the fourth year in a row. Steve currently holds the race record with his 2017 run at 83 mph. But he says he can go even faster.

His 2014 Yamaha WaveRunner started life at 260 HP but with Steve’s modifications, it currently develops about 425 HP. In the Modified Open Class, the only limiting factor on technical improvement is the budget, and Steve says there are still some tech upgrades to explore.

In fact, he’s confident he can break the 100 mph barrier.

Lee chose Yamaha because of the large displacement engine other brands do not provide. He says the Yamaha has a great reputation for reliability also. That is not only important when competing, but great for an everyday PWC on the lake since “Lets Dance” is the daily fun ride for Steve.

At 57 years of age, Lee’s competitive spirit found him racing in closed-course PWC races. These are like dirt bike Moto-Cross races but on water with wave runners.

It was a short leap to straight line racing against the clock in the Shootout. It was also a natural leap since Steve was a full-time resident at Lake of the Ozarks until last year when he moved into the full-time RV life on the road.

Lee will definitely return to the Shootout this year to defend his title, and for those who ply the lake on PWCs for fun, they might find themselves sprinting along beside the fastest wave runner in the world and not even know it.