Last week I caught up with Mystic Powerboats owner and founder John Cosker, who has been busier than ever at the company’s recently expanded headquarters in DeLand, Fla., to talk Lake of the Ozarks Shootout preparation.
American Ethanol throttleman John Cosker (below) is excited to run the 51-foot Mystic owned by Don Onken again in the upcoming Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
Most people know the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout hosted at Captain Ron’s Bar and Grill in Sunrise Beach, Mo., is kind of a big deal to him. As you may or may not know, Cosker is a member of the event’s Bob Morgan Memorial Shootout Hall of Fame. Boats designed and built by him have taken home the overall Top Gun title 15 of the last 17 years. And Cosker was sitting in the throttleman’s seat in nine of those winning boats—the last five years have been in American Ethanol, the dominant 51-foot Mystic owned by Don Onken.
Unlike years ago when all he had to focus on were the two days of Shootout competition on what used to be a one-mile course, he now has the pleasure side of the business to tend to with outboard-powered catamarans and luxury performance center consoles he and the Mystic team promotes at Captain Ron’s over the weekend and at the Shootout On The Strip and Super Cat Fest in the days leading up to the two days of racing on the three-quarter-mile course.
He isn’t about to predict a top speed for American Ethanol just yet as they haven’t done any testing—that will happen next week with the Onken Racing crew and driver Tony Battiato of Big Thunder Marine—but he does plan to have a lot of fun.
“American Ethanol is coming again to try to win six in a row,” Cosker said. “The boat had to be repaired after the damage we did to it on the last run last year. We sent a guy up from the factory to do the glass work on the back of the boat. As usual Don’s crew handled all of the mechanical parts. The boat has new prop shafts and two new sets of Hering Propellers. We’re going to have a little bit of a learning curve with the new props. We were so used to running the boat with the props we’ve used for the last five years. Hopefully we can get in a little test time.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he added. “I told Don I’ll run it for him as long as he wants to keep doing it. I love to see him come back to see what the boat can do.”
Ideally, the boat could reach speeds faster than 210 mph again—its best speed ever was 217 mph (in 2015 and 2016) but that was on the one-mile course. Its best shorter-course run was 204 mph (in 2017 and 2018).
Cosker said he was excited to hear that Shannon Hamilton, the new owner of Low Altitude, was going to run the 50-foot turbine-powered Mystic cat in the Shootout. “I love Low Altitude,” he said. “I really hope the owner is enjoying it. It seems like he is. And hopefully he has fun at the Shootout.”
So if you’re looking for Cosker at all during the Shootout festivities next week, he shouldn’t be hard to find. Check Bagnell Dam Boulevard on Wednesday (Aug. 27), the Performance Boat Center welcome party on Thursday (Aug. 28) or the Camden on the Lake Resort docks on any of the days next week as Mystic has 10 slips reserved for center console and catamaran customers and is likely to be handling demo rides from that location throughout the week. Of course, he’s going to be at Shootout docks on Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 29-30). And there’s a good chance he’s going to be in a familiar place by the end of the day Sunday—joining the Onken family for pictures with the Top Gun trophy.
Coverage Of The 2020 Lake Of The Ozarks Shootout
Low Altitude Mystic Returning To Lake Of The Ozarks Shootout
American Ethanol Wins Fifth Straight Lake Of The Ozarks Shootout And More Highlights From The 31st Annual Event
Cosker, Newby, Smith And Dorris Family—Shootout Hall Of Fame’s Newest Inductees
Mystic Completes Expansive New Headquarters
Mystic Closes June With Six New Orders