For anyone in Central Missouri yesterday, on the water at the Lake of the Ozarks was the only place to be—other than indoors with a cold drink in hand and the air-conditioning maxed—thanks to temperatures in the mid-90s, 50-plus-percent humidity and barely any breeze. But that water was a particularly fine place to be for owners of Cigarette Racing Team sportboats and center consoles in town for the eighth annual gathering produced by Performance Boat Center of Osage Beach, Mo.
Some of the best-known Cigarette builds in the world such as American Muscle are at the Lake of the Ozarks this weekend for the Performance Boat Center event. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.
“It was crazy hot,” said photographer Jeff Helmkamp, who is shooting the event for speedonthewater.com this weekend. “Today will be, too.”
Of the event record-setting 119 entries, some 74 boats made it on yesterday’s fun run to Coconuts Caribbean Beach Bar and Grill and Backwater Jacks. From there they ran back for an evening welcome/pool party outside the Lakeside Grill and Red Head Yacht Club, where the party reportedly carried into the early morning hours.
More than 70 Cigarette V-bottoms made a splash on the Lake of the Ozarks yesterday—and the fleet will be larger today.
Performance Boat Center co-owner Brett Manire described yesterday’s outing as “simply amazing,” and he sees even more fun on tap with an even larger fleet for today’s trek to Big Dick’s Halfway Inn for lunch followed by a raft-up in Linn Cove and a catered dinner/celebration at Performance Boat Center.
“There are so many repeat customers, and a few new ones, here this weekend,” he said. “It’s awesome to have that kind of loyalty.”
From Helmkamp’s elevated perch—he shot from a helicopter—yesterday’s fun run was flawlessly organized and executed.
Enjoy more images from yesterday’s Performance Boat Center happening.
“I told the pilot, ‘The drivers meeting is at 10:30 a.m. so we need to be in the air on our way to the opening of Performance Boat Center’s cove because Brett is always on time,’” he said. “Well, of course he was right on it. We arrived around 10:48 a.m. and the boats were already idling around in the channel leading out of the cove.
“The run was so organized that not one boat left until the majority of the boats was ready to go,” he continued. “And the trip to Coconuts went great—with so many boats moving at different speeds, it was easy to shoot a variety of them.
“For a different perspective, I’ll be shooting from Dan Ellis’ Cigarette 42X today,” he added.
Today’s fleet is scheduled to depart at 11 a.m. today following a drivers meeting and breakfast at Performance Boat Center.
The view from above Coconuts during yesterday’s fun run was impressive.
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