Expanding on its three charitable on-water events it hosts each year, the Northern Illinois Offshore Club recently announced the inaugural Chain-O-Lakes Shootout set for Saturday, Aug. 6 on Grass Lake.
According to Brad Zastrow, NIOC’s vice commodore, the club and its sponsors are excited to be hosting the one-mile radar run on Grass Lake with the world famous Blarney Island as the pit area and base of operations. The first-year event, which is open to boats 23 feet and larger, will showcase some of the area’s fastest boats from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday only.
Brad Zastrow, who provided the above image from his participation in the 2007 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, said NIOC is modeling its new Chain-O-Lakes Shootout after the top-speed event in Missouri that is taking place for the 28th year in late August.
“Our club has been around for 15 years and we’ve been doing several runs a year like our Thunder Run and River Shiver, but with the club’s growth—we’re close to 200 members and 30 sponsors—we thought it would be fun to host a shootout this year,” explained Zatsrow, who said the club secured a permit to have the entire Grass Lake “No Wake” for the event for the safety of the participating boats and spectator boats. “We already have some good interest brewing. Along with positive support from the local agencies, what we really have going for us is that you can see the finish line from Blarney Island, one of the greatest boating bars in the country.
“We want to model this event after the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout,” added Zastrow, who participated in the top-speed event in Central Missouri in the canopied MTI he used to own. “We’re expecting somewhere between 40 and 50 boats to compete in the shootout and we have 60 slips reserved, free of charge, for the participants. It’s going to be organized with the same rules and classes similar to Ozarks.”
Scott Sjogren, who owns Shogren Performance Marine in McHenry, Ill., said his company, which is one of the club’s gold sponsors, stepped up to sponsor the Chain-O-Lakes Shootout because there’s never been an event like it for boaters in the area.
“NIOC is in the best position it has ever been in and its new leaders have been doing a phenomenal job of bringing performance boating back to the area, so not only are we going to be involved with the event from a sponsorship level but we’re also going to participate,” Sjogren said. “I think the venue is going to be great, too. I don’t know what kind of speeds we’ll see out there, but I can guarantee you it will be a lot of fun.”