Having been part of Oklahoma’s GLOC Performance Boat Challenge organizing committee since the inception of the aquatic top-speed contest three years ago, Brock Sutherland, who has purchased the physical assets of the event from founders Ken and Linda Little, has plans to build on its success next year and beyond. But his most immediate task is to meet with the Grand River Dam Authority to set dates for the 2018 event. He’s also started the process of restructuring the GLOC Performance Boat Challenge organizing committee.
Sutherland’s first order of business as the new owner of the GLOC Performance Boat Challenge is to get the dates set for the 2018 event. Photo courtesy/copyright Jeff Helmkamp/Helmkamp Photos.
While Sutherland, who lives in Kansas about an hour from the Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees and owns a 29-foot Profile V-bottom with a 500-hp engine, preferred to keep the financial details of the deal private, he explained that the event purchase translated to operational equipment including four radar guns, 52 spectator safety and start/finish buoys, 52 handheld radios, several start- and finish-boat “base” radios, all the procedural documentation and more.
“A lot of people have asked me about what I bought and how you put a value on ‘an event’ since the story came out yesterday,” he said. “It’s basically all the equipment used to run the event.
“My goal is to put on a safe, professional event and grow it every year,” he added. “We are shorter on ‘the ground game’ than they are the Lake of the Ozarks because there are fewer nice places to go on Grand Lake. It’s definitely slower paced, and that creates some challenges. But I’d like to see where we are five years from now. I think we can keep growing and improving.”
On the immediately positive side, Sutherland said that he’s received excellent feedback from the competitors regarding the “Fast Track” course, which enables them to make one pass, then turn around and make another.
“That’s definitely an advantage,” said Sutherland, who worked as a technical inspector at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri this year and has attended the event since the 1990s. “I heard a lot of good of things about it this year. We’re known for getting boats out of the docks on time and keeping things moving.”
Both DCB Performance Boats and Mystic Powerboats have been strong supporters of the GLOC event and Sutherland said he’s grateful for their support. He’s already been talking with additional marine industry sponsors for the 2018 happening.
“Whenever you start an event, I think people want to wait and see if you’re going to stay around awhile before they commit,” he said. “We’ve been starting to grab some of the bigger guys and we’re getting their attention. I heard a lot of positive things about this year at our event and at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.”
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