As a follow-up to last year’s effort to raise money toward the fight to cure cancer, Missouri’s Ricky Amos and Cynthia O’Neill are returning to this week’s 33rd annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri to promote their “Race For The Cure” campaign. But unlike 2020, when they raced the Reindl Powerboats One Design V24 owned by Chris Reindl, Amos and O’Neill will be showcasing their own boat, an Awesome 31 Thundercat they recently purchased that was built in 1996 and re-rigged earlier this year with new drives, transmissions and blower motors that produce close to 1,000 hp aside.
Ricky Amos and Cynthia O’Neill are excited to showcase their new Awesome 31 Thundercat at this week’s Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in an effort to promote their “Race For The Cure” campaign. Photos courtesy Ricky Amos
Not only will Amos and O’Neill be making passes down the three-quarter-mile shootout course on Saturday and Sunday and be located in booth 1 and in slip 1 on dock D at Captain Ron’s Bar and Grill, the Sunrise Beach-based host location for the top-speed event, they plan on using the boat, which was water-tested for the first time last week, for Thursday afternoon’s Wishing on a Ride event at Captain Ron’s.
“With this new boat, we are racing at the 33rd annual Shootout as our next stop in generating more cancer awareness,” said O’Neill, who is a big powerboat racing fan and the owner of C&R Communications in St. Charles. “I lost my mom and dad to the disease earlier this year, 18 days apart, so this race will be a dedication to Bill and Susan O’Neill.”
O’Neill added that the team’s Race for the Cure fundraiser was created to be able to help and support those who have been affected by cancer.
“Nothing is too small or too big to help us in the fight to cure cancer,” she added.
Amos and O’Neill said they can’t wait to run their own boat down the three-quarter-mile Shootout course.
Amos, who won his class the first year he entered the Shootout in 2015 when he raced in honor of his mother who lost her battle with bone marrow cancer in 1999, is eager to take his shot at going a lot faster than he’s ever been on the Shootout course in the new 31-foot catamaran.
“After leasing boats from Chris (Reindl) for close to 10 years, we’re excited to be racing our own boat this year,” Amos said. “We loved racing and working with Chris, but it’s exciting to be doing this all on our own. We’re working hard to make this program something we can turn into a continual deal at events and races across the country, not a one-off fundraiser for the Shootout.
“We know there are a lot of charities and fundraising events out there that we can help raise awareness for along the way,” he continued. “We’d like to showcase the team beyond just Lake Race and the Lake of the Ozark Shootout. We’re grateful to have some exceptional sponsors behind the Race for the Cure team and we can’t wait to connect with everyone at the Shootout.”
In terms of the new boat, Amos said he’s impressed.
“It’s unbelievable how clean the boat is,” Amos said, adding that it doesn’t look like it is 25 years old. “The guy who owned it had it since brand new and I think he just used it to tow his kids around his lake (laughs). He recently redid a lot of it, but unfortunately he passed away from cancer before it was finished. Add him to the long list of people who left us too soon because of cancer.”
O’Neill said the boat is going to be dressed in sponsor decals for the event and that a sticker in memory of her parents will be on there as well.
“We have a fundraiser set up on our Facebook page where people can donate, plus we’ll have a lot of information on the program and our sponsors at Captain Ron’s this week,” said O’Neill, who thanked the team’s sponsors, which includes C&R Communications, Cool Touch Graphics, CPA Roofing, Dierbergs, Gas Mart, IEC, MCS Construction and 12 Foot Beard Whiskey.