I visited the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri about eight years ago for a race produced by the long-since-defunct Offshore Super Series. The three things I remembered from that trip were the frog legs (a local delicacy), the size of the lake and how many boats—particularly high-performance catamarans and V-bottoms—were located at the docks on the immense waterway. While I did not get to enjoy the first item this time around, the last two have not changed one bit.
Performance Boat Center’s John Tomlinson and Myrick Coil put together two perfect heats to take the Supercat class on the Lake of the Ozarks last Saturday. All photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Hosting the second stop of the Offshore Powerboat Association circuit, Lake of the Ozarks is a perfect place for an offshore powerboat race. Yes, it’s a lake and the water can be pretty flat, but the raceboats fit right in with all hardware already calling the lake home. Plus, flat-water racing can present its own challenges.
There was a slight change in the schedule for last weekend’s running of the Lake Race with competition on Saturday rather than Sunday, which enabled more spectators to enjoy the racing action. Although that did eliminate the ability for some teams to test, the racing went off in fine fashion. Also instead of the normal two- or three-race format, the amount of races was increased to five to showcase more action and spread out the boats—for the purpose of safety—on the tight course.
The highlights of the day were the Supercat and Extreme class races that took place in the afternoon. The Supercat race was divided into two shorter races allowing the teams to make adjustments between the two heats.
In the first heat Performance Boat Center/Jimmy Johns jumped into the early lead driving a nearly perfect race with Gone Again second and HP Mafia in third. When second heat started Performance Boat Center/Jimmy John’s jumped into the early lead again, but Gone Again got a great start and ran about a roostertail length behind first place and seemed to make up ground around the track.
For a look at some of the action from Saturday’s race in Central Missouri, check out the slideshow above.
Unfortunately mechanical issues took Gone Again out of the race giving second place to HP Mafia. Two highlights from the race were that Performance Boat Center/Jimmy John’s drove two perfect races for what was its hometown race and—in only its second race—Gone Again ran with one of the best teams in powerboat racing.
The Extreme class included CMS, Wake Effects and Cat Can Do, and unlike the Supercat race, the Extreme fleet was not divided into two races. While CMS and Wake Effects were locals to the Lake of the Ozarks, Cat Can Do put up a strong fight for second place. CMS jumped into the early lead and checked out with Wake Effects in second and Cat Can Do in third. Cat Can Do slowly chipped away at the gap to second and with just a few laps left passed Wake Effects for second place, which is how they finished.
All of the other OPA classes boasted strong showings in the Lake Race, but one of the really interesting topics from the weekend was how many local racers came out to race even in pleasure boats. Below are the winners from those classes:
After all was said and done, 18 boats came from the Lake of the Ozarks area, which is awesome considering there are probably 20 more that could compete. The racing community there is bigger than most people would think and the event is only going to grow.
Editor’s note: Mike Yowaiski (above) is a frequent contributor to Speedonthewater.com. For complete results from the Lake Race as they become available, visit the OPA website.