Lake of the Ozarks Shootout gets safer
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - The 29th Annual Lake of the Ozarks (LOTO) Shootout is getting safer by changing the traditional mile long course to 3/4 of a mile.
"There has been a lot of accidents over the last couple of years in other events around the country," LOTO Shootout President Ron Duggan said. "We took a proactive stance and just tried to slow them down a little bit to keep everyone safe.
The fastest time at the LOTO Shootout was 244 MPH. That speed isn't expected with the course being shortened. The fastest time at this year's event will set the new record for the 3/4 mile course.
The fastest time does not get a cash prize but a plaque they can put on their wall.
"It's not about money, it's not about prestige," Duggan said. "It's all about coming here enjoying the camaraderie, enjoying the boating atmosphere and doing it all for charity."
Over the last nine years they have raised $943,000. The event donates to eight Lake-area rescue teams and other charity organizations. They look to surpass $1 million in donations this year.
Known as the largest unsanctioned powerboat race in the country, Duggan said crowds from 100,000-120,000 are expected.
"Our sport as an industry is very small," Osage Beach resident Brett Manire said. "What the shootout does is it brings absolutely everybody from California, Texas, Florida, Upstate New York, Louisiana. Everybody comes to the Shootout."
Manire has been coming to the event for the last 10 years. His company Performance Boat Center has been the title sponsor for the last three years.
The Shootout has a auction, mini shootout, golf tournament, treasure hunt and live music.
The race course stretches from the 33-mile marker to the 34.7-mile marker on the southwest side of the main channel. There is a 400-foot buffer zone between the race course and the spectator area.
This year the Shootout is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Captain Ron's Bar and Grill taking over as the host of the event.