Tips for attending Shootout

Lake Sun staff
Find out what you need to know to navigate this year's Shootout.

The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout is here. Check out this list to get a better idea of what you need to know for the race.

1. What it is

Started in 1988, the Shootout brings the top racers to the Lake of the Ozarks with offshore racing power boats, often topping speeds of over 200-miles per hour, and over 100 racers. More than 100,000 spectators gather to watch the largest unsanctioned boat race in the Midwest. Proceeds collected benefit lake area rescue teams and other charitable organizations. 

The host venue is Captain Ron’s, located by water at the 34.5-mile marker of the main channel, or off Highway 5 in Sunrise Beach.

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, around the 34.7-mile marker on the southwest side of the channel. The staging area is near Cedar Cove/Standing Rock Hollow. Buoys mark the race course. There is a lengthy no-wake zone. Boaters are urged to respect the no-wake zones, the race course and other boaters.

2. How to watch it

The best place to watch the event will be by boat. A no-wake zone will be established at the mouth of Captain Ron’s cove across the Osage Arm, giving boaters a good view of the competition. The event area will be just outside the cove. Some viewing will be possible from Captain Ron’s property. 

Pay attention to the fact that the Shootout course is actually very narrow given that racers will be running in the vicinity of 200 miles per hour. The two-mile, bluff-shaded stretch of the lake that makes up the Shootout course will be designated with a racing channel, a 400-foot buffer zone and a viewing area, with a local traffic channel along the shore. But none of these areas is very wide. Anchoring will be allowed in the designated spectator area on the northeast side of the channel. There will be event volunteers on the water to assist spectators in locating the designated spectator area and to assist with safely anchoring vessels. You may want to have about a 150-feet of anchor line as it is about 50-60 feet deep in this part of the lake.

3. No wake zone

Boating traffic will be restricted to no wake from the 31 to the 36-mile marker from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Sunday. The no-wake zone will also be extended to the 21-mile marker from 1-7 p.m. on Saturday only. Boaters are encouraged to use caution while traveling to and from the event, since a large turnout from the boating public is expected.

4. Navigating around it

Boaters wishing to enter or exit coves blocked by the race course during the event will be allowed to do so upon the signal of Missouri State Highway Patrol marine operations troopers, or other authorized event personnel, at the earliest and safest opportunity. Every attempt will be made to minimize inconvenience to boaters navigating in the area. 

5. Going by land

Don’t have a boat? No worries. Parking for Shootout headquarters at Captain Ron’s is located at Scallywags RV Park on Highway 5 adjacent to Captain Ron’s. Shuttle golf carts will take you down to the action at Captain Ron’s or a set of stairs that connects Captain Ron’s to the RV park is also available for your use.  

All proceeds from the parking fee will be given to the Shootout charities. While you’re there, check out all that the vendors and what the racers village have to offer. See the boats up close when they’re parked at Captain Ron’s.

Go to www.lakeoftheozarksshootout.com for more information on what Celebration Cruises has planned for the 2021 Shootout or to check into renting a boat for the day or the weekend.