Although organizers faced several challenges leading up the event, the inaugural GLOC Performance Boat Challenge Shootout on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in Grove, Okla., was met with much fanfare from spectators and participants alike, not to mention several high-profile community members.
That fanfare has led organizers and community officials to move forward with the second annual event, which will be held over four days in July (7-10) and feature even more entertainment from dock parties and car shows to live bands and a boat street party.
After a challenging yet rewarding event this summer, oganizers announced that the GLOC Performance Boat Challenge Shootout in Oklahoma will return for a second year 2016. Photo courtesy Jim Winters/Speedonthewater.com
“Our premier sponsor contract with Grand Lake Casino and Lakeside Bar & Grill has been approved and the green light was given to begin working on the second annual GLOC Performance Boat Challenge Shootout,” said Ken Little, who organized the first-year event with a dedicated committee that included his wife, Linda, and his son, Shaun. “We’re excited about the changes we have in store for next year and the overwhelming response we received from participants who attended this year.
“I don’t know if anything more could have gone wrong with our first attempt, but the good news is that we still have people coming back—and those people are bringing more people with them,” Little continued. “We’re proud we were able to pull it off despite the windy conditions and high water levels. I have a feeling the most appealing part of our event for participants coming from out town was the people of Grove. This entire community treats people the right way and makes everyone feel so welcome.”
Among the changes in store for next year, Little said, is extending the course to one mile rather than 3/4 of a mile and providing access to an top-notch marina facility right near the course for racers to utilize and hang out until they need to head out to course.
“Racers will get a 10-minute notice and after that they can head right over to the start line,” Little said. “We’re going to eliminate the waiting game that takes place at so many of these events. That’s one of the biggest complaints we’ve heard from the racers we’ve talked with. The reason we’re moving the course to one mile is based on feedback we’ve received from racers as well.”
Little, who owns a 35-foot Motion Powerboats catamaran, said the newly constructed Grand Lake Casino and Lakeside Bar & Grill offers 270 degrees of ground viewing for spectators, who can join the on-water fleet in their own boat if they so choose. He also said both days of racing are going to be broadcast live on KGVE radio (99.3 FM) and that the committee is working on lining up a sizable—as in 100 feet long and 33 feet wide—boat to take spectators out on the course.
“The Seneca-Cayuga Nation is thrilled to be a part of bringing so much fun and business to the community,” said William Fisher, Chief of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe, which operates the Grand Lake Casino and Lakeside Bar & Grill. “We would very much like to see the GLOC Performance Boat Challenge Shootout become a permanent annual event.”
Chuck Perry of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Commission shared similar sentiments.
“The GLOC Performance Boat Challenge is the type of unique event that Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees has long been looking for,” Perry said. “We have been known for our fishing, but this event has put us on the map in the powerboat world. It has brought a completely different dynamic to our great lake and it has introduced our visitors to the perfect venue for performance and pleasure boating that they may not have known existed here before. Our hat is off to the great crew that brought GLOC to the lake.”