Lake Race held this weekend, officials release spectator information

Dan Field
Lake Race Street Meet.

After a year’s absence from the Lake of the Ozarks circuit of events, Lake Race 2021 is getting ready for the opening ceremonies with a traditional meet and greet giving spectators a chance to see the high performance power boats and meet crews.

Race organizers have been given the go-ahead from the city of Lake Ozark to host the Lake Race party on June 4 from 4-10 p.m. on the Bagnell Dam Strip. The public is invited to come and experience the excitement of the pre-race festivities.

A section of the Strip will be cordoned off for the event. There will be a section of the Strip roped off for the consumption of alcohol offered by licensed bars/restaurants. The specific roped off area will be from just below Ballenger Road to Bagnell Dam. Ballenger Road will remain open.

There will be multiple shuttles available to transport people from parking areas below Bagnell Dam and from other public and private areas.

The host location is Neon Taco, formerly Beaver’s on the Lake.

The rules will be much the as they were before.

• Everyone purchasing alcohol in the event area must be 21+.

• All persons purchasing alcohol must wear a wristband.

• The consumption of alcohol outside the event area will be prohibited except within the boundaries of establishments having a liquor license.

• Anyone disrupting the activities may be removed from the event area.

Opening ceremonies

Opening ceremonies will take place on Sat., June 5 at 10:45 a.m. on the Summerset Dock Helipad at Neon Taco. Viewing can be from the Neon Taco deck (although table seating is sold out), Lucky’s Bar and Grill and Barstool Mountain.

The National Anthem will be sung by Nashville recording artist Clayton Anderson.

Former international boat racer and boat owner Dave Scott, also Chairman Emeritus of Lake Race, is expected to attend as well. Scott is a multi-time offshore racing world champion and world record holder who campaigned several Anheuser-Busch beverage brand back/themed catamarans from 2002 to 2010. He founded Nauti Marine, which is now part of Performance Boat Center in Lake Ozark. Scott is member of the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Hall of Fame.

Dual race card

The Offshore Powerboat Association (OPA) Lake Race returns to Lake Ozark this year after a two-year absence. Two years ago the race relocated to the 7-mile mark near Camden on the Lake and Shady Gators when host location Beaver’s closed. The fear of COVID-19 resulted in the cancellation last June, and organizers worked with Lake Ozark officials to bring the popular powerboat race back to its original location this year.

Sanctioned by the Offshore Powerboat Association and APBA, Lake Race attracts the fastest and most powerful boats in the world to compete. The 4-mile racecourse begins at Bagnell Dam with turns two and three just past the 2-mile marker between Lotell Hollow and Jobson Hallow. The no-wake zone extends to about the 3-mile mark and along both sides of the course.

Racing will begin about 11 a.m. June 5 shortly after opening ceremonies at 10:45 a.m. and will continue to about 5 p.m.

Special feature this year will be the addition of the NGK Spark Plugs Formula One Powerboat race organized by lake-area F-1 legend Tim Seebold. The Seebold family has been racing F-1 boats for many years, starting with Tim’s grandfather.

Building off the momentum of its first two events in Port Neches, Texas, the NGK F1 Series comes to Lake of the Ozarks for the third round of the 2021 season.

The big Saturday race day action, which includes the different boat racing disciplines -- Formula 1, Tri Hull and Offshore -- will start with testing at 9 a.m.

F-1 racing will take place between the OPA powerboat races. According to Seebold, the F-1 boats are 17 feet long and are powered by 270-horsepower outboards. There is deck-to-deck competition with boats often bumping each other for position. They’re smaller, quicker boats.