Although the week leading up to the 35th annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri was one of the warmest and muggiest events in recent memory, the rain came in droves on Saturday morning to wash away most of the sticky and lower the temperatures just enough to eliminate the level of heat that limits engine performance. The rain wasn’t necessarily a welcome sight for the vendors and teams set up at Captain Ron’s Bar and Grill, the host location for the charity-driven event presented by Performance Boat Center that continues to grow year in and year out, but the race teams didn’t mind the wet weather.
The American Ethanol Mystic broke its three-quarter-mile course record with a 214-mph top speed at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri. Photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
In fact, several teams went faster than they’ve ever gone before on the event’s three-quarter-mile course, including the reigning Top Gun, American Ethanol. On the team’s first pass of the day, driver Tony Battiato and throttleman John Cosker ran Don Onken’s four-engine, 51-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran to a record-setting top speed of 214 mph. That mark was just three mph behind the team’s top speed of 217 mph on the previous one-mile course.
“We’re happy, very happy,” said a nonchalant Onken after the boat’s performance on Saturday. “We were working until the last minute on the boat so we weren’t sure what to expect.”
A Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Bob Morgan Memorial Hall of Fame member, Onken even cracked a smile when talking about hitting 214 mph, even though his preference is odd numbers so the team may or may not hit the course Sunday to try to top that.
Check out the slideshow above for more images from Saturday’s top-speed contest.
Another boat that is likely to try to best its top speed from Saturday is Dirty Duck, a super-powered Skater Powerboats catamaran owned by local performance boater Slug Hefner that was driven by Myrick Coil and Rusty Williams of Performance Boat Center. The boat, which is powered by twin 2,000-plus-hp engines from Brummett Marine, laid down an impressive 187-mph pass.
“The boat felt really good—it’s so powerful,” Coil said. “We were hoping for 180 today and we got 187, which was great, but I think we can get to 190.”
Dirty Duck was the second-fastest speed of the day as it was one mph than American Ethanol’s second run of 186 mph. The first fastest boat was another Skater, Team Yahoo. The Texas-based crew of Curtis Morris and Jamin Jones reached a top speed of 175 mph and is expected to try to top that today in their Skater powered by twin 2,000-plus-hp Boostpower USA engines.
The fastest V-bottom of the day was Dennis and Jason Parvey’s 46-foot Black Thunder, which tied the event’s all-time V-bottom record at 166 mph. The team it tied—Jim Schultz and Mike Faucher in the 51-foot Factory Billet Outerlimits—went 162 mph and has plans to run again today.
With a top speed of 135 mph, the fastest single-engine V-bottom of the day was the 36-foot Tuff Marine driven by the company’s Thomas Weigl. Built in Canada, the boat is powered by a single Mercury Racing 1,100-hp engine.
Thomas Weigl ran his Tuff Marine V-bottom to a screaming 135-mph top speed.
Other notable V-bottoms top speeds included Jack Gladke’s 106-mph pass in his 38-foot Donzi, Christie Ungarten’s 77-mph run in her 22-foot Apache, John Sanford’s 101-mph pass in his 25-foot Warlock and Hall of Fame member Carrie Sixkiller’s 65-mph run in her Baja.
Back to the catamarans—the most-talked about top speed of the day was the 116-mph one laid down by driver Shaun Torrente in the 32-foot S2 Power Boats catamaran powered by a pair of electric outboard engines from Vision Marine Technologies Inc. This is the fourth year Vision has been part of bringing an electric boat to run in the Shootout, and Vision CEO Alex Mongeon was extremely proud of his team for its resilience and focus getting a brand new boat to best the 109-mph speed the team ran last year in a Hellkats Powerboats-constructed 32-footer.
“I’m very proud of our team, our family—this really is one big family,” Mongeon said. “Everyone here played a role in getting this boat put together in basically 14 days. This group is incredibly talented and so focused passionate about their jobs. My job is to make sure all of these people are motivated and that they don’t let the failures we experience keep us from pushing forward and showcasing this technology.”
The Vision Marine Technologies-powered 32-foot S2 Power Boats catamaran set a new electric-powered boat record at 116 mph.
With a top speed of 130 mph, Korey and Joe Perog of Florida laid down the fastest outboard-powered catamaran speed in their 36-foot Wright Performance with twin Mercury Racing 450R engines. The father-and-son team also claimed that title last year.
Of the canopied raceboats powered by twin Mercury Racing 450R engines, Willy Cabeza led the way with a 124-mph top speed in his MTI 390X, followed by MTI’s Taylor Scism at 118-mph in her 390X and the 117-mph pass laid down by Logan Adan in the 38-foot Doug Wright Powerboats cat sponsored by Wave and Wheels.
All the way from California, Tony Chiaramonte of DCB Performance Marine and a Bob Morgan Memorial Hall of Fame inductee this year recorded a respectable 124-mph pass in an M37R Widebody cat powered by twin Mercury Racing 500R engines and owned by customers Kelly O’Hara and Kiran Pinsetti. With a top speed of 132 mph, Utah’s George Ogden had one of smoothest and most impressive runs in his twin-engine 29-foot E-Ticket deck boat.
Several center consoles took to the course as well, including a 43-foot Midnight Express Boats model driven by company owner Eric Glaser to 97 mph and a 34-foot Sunsation Powerboats model driven by Bio-Kleen’s Tim Kowalski to 81 mph.
During a break in the action Saturday, the first Performance Powerboats 420 raced a stunt plane on the Shootout course.
Editor’s note: Look for Sunday coverage later this evening.
Coverage Of The 2023 Lake Of The Ozarks Shootout
Sunday Shootout Action: Factory Billet And The Parveys Returning, Monster Energy/M CON Going Kilo
S2 Powerboats And Vision Marine Up The Electric Power Ante With 111-MPH Shootout Pass