Keeping Shootout safe
Ed Grimm is the kind of guy who likes to work hard and play hard. Although he is quick to admit he doesn’t play as hard as he did in his younger days, he still enjoys a good time. And one of his favorite good times of the year is being part of the Lake of the Ozark Shootout.
Grimm has not only been on the water behind the wheel racing against his competitors, he’s also a volunteer logging plenty of hours leading up to the Shootout and especially over the course of the two-day race event. If you have a problem with your results or what class you have been assigned to, Grimm is the man you see.
Grimm is part of the volunteer crew who handles the technical end of the races, checking the boats for everything from lifejackets to fire suppression systems and helmets. Grimm said at the Shootout, it’s safety first and that starts with the inspections.
They also classify the boats, going over engines and making sure racers are assigned to the correct class before they get out on the water.
Boats are something Grimm has more than little bit of knowledge about. Although he started out as an auto mechanic after graduating from trade school back home in Iowa City, Iowa, after about a decade of working on cars, he decided they were’t quite flashy enough. He decided to make the move to boat engines. A move that eventually found him selling Charger boats. That connection to Charger boats is what brought him to Lake of the Ozark and Marty’s Marine. These day’s he is with Watson Motor Sports.
In the meantime, he had discovered fishing and was enjoying time on the tournament circuit. He thought a move to the lake would allow him to fish and work since fishing can be quite an expensive hobby.
“I thought when I moved here I would have more time for fishing and less time for working but I am finding that’s not the case,” Grimm said. “I was good at catching fish but not so good at finding them.”
He’s considered to be a top notch “engine guy.” The engineering of the engines and the sound as the high performance engines move from idle to full throttle is something he will never find dull.
He’s often a competitor and has taken some Top Gun awards for his class, hitting speeds of 124 mph on the water as an amateur racer. His first race on Lake of the Ozark was at Shooter’s 21 back in the day before the event grew to be the largest unsanctioned boat race in the country.
Grimm admits it’s a time-consuming job during the Shootout but, at the same time, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
As a racer, and a fan of boat racing, Grimm says being involved with the Shootout is a great experience. One that he isn’t quite ready to give up.
“The friends I have made and the people I have met through the Shootout, it’s a chance once a year to get together and catch up,” he said. “I don’t think most people realize, unless they are involved in boat racing, the impact this event has, not just here, but across the country and in other parts of the world.”
• The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout will be held August 38 & 29 at Captain Ron's/34.5-mile marker. The Lake Sun will be running a series of stories leading up to the Shootout.