Although he was unsure at first if he even wanted to compete in the top-speed event, Georgia performance boater Shannon Hamilton is preparing to run Low Altitude, his turbine engine-powered 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran, at the upcoming Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Sunrise Beach, Mo.
The unforgettable turbine-powered Low Altitude Mystic is returning to the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout this year. Photo from the 2016 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
Late last summer, Hamilton purchased the 50-footer, which was previously owned by notable performance boaters Tom Borisch and Win Farnsworth after Borisch turned the former JBS Racing catamaran into a pleasure boat, and he ran it in the Florida Powerboat Club’s Key West Poker Run in November. Although he planned to do several poker runs this year in the canopied Mystic, many of them were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic so he hasn’t used the boat as much as he had hoped to so far. He is, however, planning to run it at next week’s FPC Emerald Coast Powerboat Poker Run in Destin, Fla., and then head to the Lake of the Ozarks to compete in his first Shootout.
“Last year I brought Gunslinger, my 36-foot Nor-Tech to Ozarks and was planning to do the Shootout but I burned up the pistons and didn’t make any runs,” said Hamilton, who has a heads-up drag racing and grudge racing background. “The unfortunate part is I was running my mouth, calling people out on Facebook, so I don’t think I made a lot of friends. Well at least until they knew I was just trying to stir things up and that it was nothing personal.
“This year I’m coming back with a bigger, more powerful boat and while we don’t expect to be faster than the five-time American Ethanol, we hope to give that team a run for its money,” he continued. “And of course we want to put on a show for the spectators.”
Hamilton, who has been around boats all his life, said he enjoys having the 1,800-hp T53-703 turbines that were built by Aaron Williams of Turbine Motorsports because “turbines don’t break.”
“I mean you can run the boat 200mph, wide-ass open, and burn a whole tank of fuel, then come back in, fill it up and go do it again,” he said. “It’s an incredible machine. Aaron has been tremendously helpful in the process, too. We’re ready for the Shootout.”
If Hamilton gets his way, he’ll get to do a head-to-head drag race with the Shootout’s five-time-defending overall Top Gun champion, American Ethanol, a quad-engine 50-foot Mystic owned by Don Onken. He said he’s reached out Mystic Powerboats owner John Cosker, who normally throttles the boat, and the Onken Racing team about it along with the Shootout committee.
“We have a few ideas on how we can do something to compete with American Ethanol,” said Hamilton, adding that the turbines spool up too slow to get up to speed on the short three-quarter-mile course. “It’s just about whether we can all make it happen or not.”
Look out Ozarks, Shannon Hamilton and his crew are coming and they’re ready to unleash their fun and games.
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