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Shootout Wrap-Up: What A Show

Just a few random notes from the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout last weekend. The next issue of Powerboat will have a more-complete story, with lots of photos, on the event. I say “more-complete” because you could fill an entire issue of the magazine with Shootout stories—and I’m not counting those that earn anything above a PG rating.  But here are a few things I jotted down on the endless plane rides from St. Louis, Mo., to San Francisco yesterday:

Ron Dugan of Captain Ron’s Bar and Grill is more than a great guy who, with some help from his friends, saved the economically valuable event three years ago. He’s an eternally gracious host—and he’s already planning for next year.

•Must thank photographer Jay Nichols for capturing a photo of me, looking relaxed and ready for a cold one, on the bluff near the radar trap on Sunday. Photographer Robert Brown and I “worked” up there for almost eight hours. Is it my fault that I have a great job? Check out Jay’s photos on offshoreonly.com. He takes go-fast boat photography to an artistic level.

• Rob Brown and I were also captured “working” on television. Someone please remind me to push Willy, the video guy, off the cliff next year.

•The most impressive sight of the weekend? Had to be the 2-mile-long, uninterrupted and rafted-off spectator fleet.

Greg Olsen’s run of 182 mph in an Eliminator 33’ Daytona with GT Performance engines didn’t just take a Top Gun award in its class—it set a record as the fastest Eliminator in history.

•The second most impressive (and scary) sight of the weekend? A pontoon boat running 100 mph. OK, call it a tie between that and 50-foot Mystic Nauti-Marine humming along at 208 mph.

•Must thank Michael “Doc” Janssen for Friday night’s “Taste of Torque” party at Coconuts, and congratulate him for his victories in several classes.

•Coming off hospitalization not even a week before the Shootout, Jeff Stevenson of JBS Racing, a turbine-powered 50-foot Mystic catamaran, definitely wins the “Suck it Up and Run Hard” award. The guy has—and had—serious stones.

•By the way, don’t bother trying to explain the difference between a turbine and a jet to the average innocent bystander.

•Last, a note to four big guys playing beach volleyball in Speedos during the Taste of Torque party: Yikes.