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Commentary: Why The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Still Matters


Although you won’t see the gaudy numbers of years past, there’ll still be plenty of intrigue at the nation’s premiere powerboating top-speed event this month. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

For any number of reasons, the 244-mph Lake of the Ozarks Shootout top-speed record set by Steve Curtis and Sheik Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani in a turbine-powered 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran in 2014 will never fall. Yes, I know that records are made to be broken, that you should never say never, that you “never know”—I could go on with the mindless clichés but I won’t—but that surreal mark was the product of all the right things, deep pockets and even deeper desire among them, coming together at just the right time. And even if the shootout course on the popular Central Missouri waterway hadn’t been shortened this year to three-quarters-of-a-mile from it original one-mile length, that record is safe forever.

Don’t believe me? That’s OK. Hope and optimism are good things. But that untouchable record won’t be broken. What’s more, American Ethanol, a 51-foot Mystic catamaran, won’t get close to the 217-mph run it laid down last year to claim the overall Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Top Gun title. And the chances of Dennis and Jason Parvey getting anywhere close to the outrageous 165-mph V-bottom mark they established last year in their 43-foot Black Thunder are non-existent.

So why should you even bother paying attention to the 2017 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Aug. 26-27?

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