Party Every Day

Between mistakenly bypassing a late-night turnpike toll road station in Oklahoma, making a stop for lunch at the off-the-wall Big Texan in Amarillo, Texas, and doing a triple take at the late-August snowfall along Interstate 40 in New Mexico, I felt slightly out of place during my drive home from Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks to California earlier this week.

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I also felt out of place because for the previous six days, it was go-go-go at the lake between covering the extensive Lake of the Ozarks Shootout events and trying to make the overwhelming amount of parties—as in more than I could possibly attend. I know going into the Shootout each year that there are parties in store, but this year myself—and the rest of the crew at speedonthewater.com that was in town for the event and the extremely popular Super Cat Fest at Camden on the Lake Resort—were slightly overwhelmed with everything happening.

So, while reflecting on all that had happened since I left my house with the speedonthewater.com trailer in tow on August 19, it was fitting that I heard the Kiss song “I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night (and Party Every Day)” several times on satellite radio because that could have been the anthem for the week in Missouri.

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And The Winner Is: That Dam Street Party

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Last night’s celebration of high-performance powerboats and more at the Lake of the Ozarks was simply epic. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Covering the Desert Storm Poker Run, the Boyne Thunder Poker Run and the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout—OK, well, my fellow columnist Jason Johnson and I are just getting started on that one—I’ve had the great fortune of attending the three street parties that lead off each of these first-rate events. Each street party not only celebrates the finest go-fast boating hardware on the planet but also the three small towns—Lake Havasu City, Ariz., Boyne City, Mich., and Lake Ozarks, Mo.—that host them. Beyond an evening diversion for the participants, they exist to thank and show appreciation for the local townspeople and businesses that support the events.

Take nothing away from the Desert Storm and Boyne Thunder happenings, they were excellent. But last night’s Shootout On The Strip Meet and Greet powerboat display on Bagnell Dam Boulevard knocked me out me in a way no such event ever has before or likely ever will again.

What was so impressive about the Shootout On The Strip? A better question would be: What wasn’t?

Read More: And The Winner Is—That Dam Street Party

Related Story: Coverage of the 2017 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout

Commentary: Why The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Still Matters

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Although you won’t see the gaudy numbers of years past, there’ll still be plenty of intrigue at the nation’s premiere powerboating top-speed event this month. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

For any number of reasons, the 244-mph Lake of the Ozarks Shootout top-speed record set by Steve Curtis and Sheik Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani in a turbine-powered 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran in 2014 will never fall. Yes, I know that records are made to be broken, that you should never say never, that you “never know”—I could go on with the mindless clichés but I won’t—but that surreal mark was the product of all the right things, deep pockets and even deeper desire among them, coming together at just the right time. And even if the shootout course on the popular Central Missouri waterway hadn’t been shortened this year to three-quarters-of-a-mile from it original one-mile length, that record is safe forever.

Don’t believe me? That’s OK. Hope and optimism are good things. But that untouchable record won’t be broken. What’s more, American Ethanol, a 51-foot Mystic catamaran, won’t get close to the 217-mph run it laid down last year to claim the overall Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Top Gun title. And the chances of Dennis and Jason Parvey getting anywhere close to the outrageous 165-mph V-bottom mark they established last year in their 43-foot Black Thunder are non-existent.

So why should you even bother paying attention to the 2017 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Aug. 26-27?

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Ski Racing on the Mind

I’m the first to admit that my knowledge of water ski racing is pretty limited. Thankfully my friends at Nordic Boats—the Lake Havasu, City, Ariz., boat builder behind the formidable Nordic Racing ski team—keeps me up to speed. In fact, just today, before leaving for the airport for his flight to Seattle, I caught up with Randy Davis, the owner Nordic and driver of several of the United States Water Ski Racing Team’s competitors in the upcoming world championships.

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Nordic Racing’s Randy Davis is going to pull Women F1-class competitor Katelin Wendt with the No. 192 Nordic 21 SR powered by a single Mercury Racing 1350 engine at the 20th World Water Ski Racing Championships in Washington. Photo courtesy Nordic Boats

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Positive Observations

Early last week Justin Humphrey of Positive Trim—a relatively new boating lifestyle apparel company in Southern California—asked me if I’d mind sharing the new Positive Trim video that he recently released following a video and photography shoot on July 3 in Lake Havasu City, Calif. I clicked on it thinking I’d drop it up on the speedonthewater.com Facebook page and be done with it.

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Two models enjoy the afternoon on Lake Havasu during the Positive Trim promotional shoot. Photo by Tom Leigh/Tommy Gun Images

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