As he does every year in May, roughly three months before what’s arguably the most-anticipated performance boat event of the year outside of the Key West Poker Run and offshore world championships in the Florida Keys in November, Ron Duggan, the lead organizer of the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri, opens up Captain Ron’s Bar & Grill in Sunrise Beach for the season and turns much of his attention away from the title company and restaurants he owns and focuses in on the week-plus-long event at the end of August.
This year though, with many events around the country being cancelled or postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Duggan and the board of directors for the Shootout have been fielding several calls a day from people asking if the Shootout was going to happen. Rest assured, Duggan told speedonthewater.com on Friday, there are no plans to cancel the celebrated event that kicks off a full week ahead of the two days of top-speed runs scheduled for August 29-30.
“We’re expecting things to be pretty much back to normal in August, and if they aren’t, we’ll have to see what changes we can make to be sure the Shootout still goes forward as planned,” Duggan said. “The Shootout is unlike anything else at the lake. So many people look forward to participating in all of the events surrounding the Shootout, and even more important, so many charities depend on the money we raise each year. We’re anticipating another great year and are thankful for all of the sponsors that are returning this year.
“We have our annual golf tournament coming up on Sunday, May 31, and we’ve already worked out the social distancing requirements with Lake Valley Golf Club to make sure it will happen as scheduled,” he added. “After that we don’t have anything until the ‘Run What Ya Brung’ Poker Run and the mini Shootout the weekend before the main event. People are ready to get out and get back to having some fun on the lake. I feel like the worst of this is behind us—we’ve had very few cases at the lake and we’re hoping it stays that way.”
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