Lake Race 2018 kickoff

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LAKE OZARK - Lake Ozark will kick off the 2018 Lake Race powerboat racing challenge Saturday morning at Bagnell Dam.

The annual competition draws powerboaters from all over the nation, even places as far as the East coast and Florida.

Father-son team Billy and Andrei Allen live in Pleasant Hill, Iowa. Together they pilot the Allen Lawn Care and Landscaping catamaran. Andrei Allen said, for powerboat racers, getting invited to Lake Race is a great honor.

"The Lake Race is one of the most prestigious events when it comes to powerboat racing," he said. "Everyone knows about it."

2018 is the third year the two Allens have participated in Lake Race. Andrei Allen said it's always a great time. 

"Lake of the Ozarks does a phenomenal job putting it together," he said. "They always put the race-teams first so you want to be here."

He said organizers make the boaters feel welcome.

"It's a fun time between the street party and just experiencing all the fans around," he said.

Jacob Jeffries is a painter in Lake Ozark. He went to the Lake Race kickoff street party for the first time and said he enjoyed the Lake Race experience

"It's a good atmosphere, a lot of friendly people around having a good time and a lot of people like watching boats race," he said.

Jeffries said the lake is the perfect place for the powerboat races.

"The lake is a good vacation spot and people come here to have fun. So if there wasn't boat races and we have a huge lake, what's the point of even having a lake?," he said.

The races will be broadcast in the lake area, Springfield, Columbia, Jefferson City, St. Louis and Northern Arkansas.

For those who want to watch but can't get the broadcast, there will be a live stream available.

The races wrap up on Sunday with the awards ceremony. More information can be found on the Lake Race website