While all the one-mile Lake of the Ozarks Shootout course top-speed records still stand on their own, last year’s move to a three-quarter-mile course for the Central Missouri event saw an entirely new set of records established. Chief among those new accomplishments was the 204-mph mark set by the 2017 Overall Top Gun award-winning American Ethanol team with its 51-foot canopied Mystic Powerboats catamaran powered by four engines producing a combined output of approximately 9,000 hp.
The American Ethanol team will be shooting to top the 204-mph mark it established last year at the 30th annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout at the end of the month. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Last year, Mystic Powerboats company owner/founder and American Ethanol throttleman John Cosker used the GLOC Shootout event, which also went to a three-quarter-mile course in 2017, in Oklahoma as a tune-up/practice session for the 2017 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. With the GLOC event cancelled this year, Cosker and driver Tony Battiato are hoping to get in a few practice runs prior to this year’s top-speed contest.
But even lacking that testing opportunity, Cosker said he’s optimistic about being able to raise the bar.
“I talked to Don (Onken, the owner of American Ethanol) just the other day,” Cosker said. “We’re way ahead of our usual schedule—the engines are already in the boat and they’ve gone through them with a focus on reliability. Our goal is to get in a few more runs during the Shootout.
“I was pleased with what we did last year,” he added. “But I think we can bump up our top speed a few more miles per hour this year.”
Cosker said that the key to success is twofold—managing the boat’s power from the start and—as he had to last year—reacting/adjusting more quickly to the shorter course.
“When the boat had less power, I would let the props slip, get the rpm up, get the boat to fly by trimming it up and then start to trim it down near the end of the course,” he said. “Now, we have so much power that I can’t completely blow out the propellers at the start, and if I do that we won’t get a good launch. So I have to be more careful at the start, but then repeat the whole process. Where on the longer course the whole run took about 25 seconds, now it takes about 15 seconds. So everything has to happen faster.
“I had gotten into a rhythm with all of that on the old course based on where we were,” he continued. “I just have to get into a new one.”