When it comes to most offshore powerboat races in the United States, there are two race-producing entities—the local organizing team and the American Power Boat Association member-organization bringing the APBA sanction to the venue—involved in each event. For the Lake Race June 2-4 in Central Missouri, that means a new-for-2022 board of directors led by president Jeff Dorhauer, one of the founders of the annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.
On the racing-organization side, the New Jersey-based Offshore Powerboat Association is handling the event, the second contest in the eight-race APBA Offshore National Championship Series,
The second contest of the APBA Offshore National Championship Series, the Lake Race has new leadership focused on its financial future. Photo from the 2021 Lake Race by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.
The event has struggled financially in recent years and, according to Dorhauer, was anything but a sure thing this season.
“It didn’t look like the race was going to happen this year for financial reasons,” said the retired firefighter. “My goal is to get the Lake Race financially sound again in the next few years.
“This year, we built a budget—that was the first thing we did,” he continued. “My years with the Shootout and the fire service taught me that you can’t succeed without that. Then we started looking for where we could cut costs. This year, for example, we’ve traded out sponsorships for golf carts rather than paying cash to rent them.”
The long-term plan for the Lake Race, Dorhauer explained, is to have each race generate enough “seed money” to fund the following year’s event. Making that happen will require a strict adherence to the bottom line, as well as leaving no potential revenue stone unturned.
“It won’t happen this year, but until we get solvent with this thing we have to be really, really careful how we spend,” he said. “And we have to take a dollar-by-dollar approach to fundraising. You don’t find too many $50,000 title sponsors out there, and we don’t have one this year. A lot of people in the community have stepped up to make the Lake Race happen this year.
“Every dollar counts,” he added. “You can’t turn your back on a sponsorship deal no matter how small it is.”