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Shorter Shootout Courses: Causes And Effects


Just a few years ago, Tomlinson reached 197 mph in this Skater 388 catamaran during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Photo by George Denny

No stranger to top-speed contests, John Tomlinson, who ran 197 mph a few years ago in an open-cockpit 38-foot Skater catamaran at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, didn’t hesitate to answer when asked what he thought about this year’s shorter courses for three such events.

“It’s the right thing to do and it’s the smart thing to do,” said Tomlinson, a multi-time Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Top Gun and offshore racing world champion. “These boats aren’t built to survive a 200-mph crash—they’re not built to survive a 160-mph crash.

“The Skater I went 197 mph in on a one-mile course will probably be 15 mph slower on a three-quarter mile course,” he added. “But that’s OK.”

As reported on speedonthewater.com in late 2016 (read the story) the organizers of the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri, the GLOC Performance Boat Challenge in Oklahoma and the Texas Outlaw Challenge agreed to shorten their one-mile courses to three-quarters-of-a-mile in the interest of safety this year.

Read More: Shorter Shootout Courses—Causes And Effects