That a humble Minnesota dentist and his soft-spoken son and an elite Illinois-based entrepreneur/manufacturer and his brilliant engine builder could steal the show at this year’s Lake of the Ozarks Shootout tells you everything you need to know about makes the Central Missouri happening the most important and enjoyable event in high-performance powerboating. As they have since 2012, Dennis and Jason Parvey climbed into the cockpit of their 17-year-old, 43-foot open-cockpit Black Thunder V-bottom and ran as fast as they could down the three-quarters-of-a-mile course on shootout weekend in what is—for all intents and purposes—a big full-cabin pleasure boat with a pair of 2,000-hp supercharged engines under its hatch.
They were up against Jim Schultz and Mike Faucher in Factory Billet, a canopied 51-foot Outerlimits V-bottom built in 2008 and equipped with some of the most advanced prototype systems—from computer-controlled drive and tab trim to automatic three-speed transmissions hooked up to its twin 2,000-hp turbocharged engines—yet seen in a performance boat with a cockpit that looks like something out of a fighter jet. After more than five years in development with an unlimited budget, the Factory Billet Engine power and systems program was making its debut at the event.
Call it a David versus Goliath battle or downhome versus uptown—pick whatever metaphor you like or use your own—the contest ended in a 161-mph tie that saw each team offering nothing but praise and respect for the other.