The 2019 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, America's largest and longest running powerboat race, returns to Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks, August 24 and 25.
This high-speed, action-packed fundraising event, which has been hailed as one of the "must-see boating events in the country" by Boating Magazine, has powerboats racing individually to see who can log the fastest speed and be crowned the overall "Top Gun."
"For anyone that likes boats or boating, you don't want to miss the Shootout," says Ron Duggan, Shootout coordinator and owner of Captain Ron's Bar and Grill. "At the Shootout you'll see every type of boat imaginable and it's a thrilling and exciting event. You have some of the fastest boats in the world captained by some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. The racers are so generous with their time and they love taking photos with the spectators and talking about and showing off their boats. It's a lot of fun for everyone. I don't think there's anything like the Shootout in the entire country."
Throughout the racing weekend, over 100,000 spectators turn out to watch these powerful vessels top out at speeds of over 200 miles per hour along the race course near Captain Ron's Bar and Grill, 82 Aloha Road in Sunrise Beach or at the 34.5 mile marker by water. The competitive field features roughly 100 boats competing in over 60 different race divisions, including professional, non-professional and manufacturer classes, among others.
American Ethanol is the reigning Shootout champion, claiming the Top Gun title the last four years running. In 2018, American Ethanol won with a speed of 204 miles per hour. Spectators and racers alike will be eager to see if American Ethanol will extend their winning streak and break the long-standing fastest-ever time logged at the Shootout of 244 miles per hour set by the Spirit of Qatar in 2014.
The Shootout races get underway on Saturday, Aug. 24 with personal water craft races from 9:30-10:00 a.m., followed by the official opening ceremonies and national anthem at 9:45 a.m. The powerboat races begin after the national anthem and continue until 4 p.m. In addition to the races, there will be other special events throughout the races such as acrobatic aerial performances by Brian Correll during the Shootout Airshow. From 9 a.m. until 5 p.m, there will be a vendor village selling various goods and souvenirs as well as a racing village with the latest in performance engines and boating accessories on display. Between the two villages, the public can visit over 60 different exhibitors. Captain Ron's also hosts live musical entertainment on Saturday with performances by I-70 Overdrive from 2-6 p.m., followed by Members Only from 8 p.m. until midnight. Inside at Captain Ron's, DJ Kyle will pump out the jams from 11 p.m. until 1 a.m.
On Sunday, Aug. 25, the villages open at 9 a.m. and the high-speed action picks up with races taking place from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The presentation of the 2019 "Top Gun" honors will take place during the awards ceremony at 4 p.m. at Captain Ron's.
Those that can't make it to the Lake of the Ozarks to watch the races in person have several opportunities to keep up with the action. New for 2019, the Shootout races will be broadcast with unparalleled high-definition quality across multiple stations throughout Missouri and online as well. According to Denny Benne, owner of Benne Media Group, the expanded coverage and quality of the production will help raise the profile of the Shootout and the Lake of the Ozarks across the state. "We have a great production team assembled that has worked with CBS, NBC, ESPN and Fox. We're very excited to be able to take the broadcast to a new level," says Benne. "Since this is a charity event, we want to reach more viewers and listeners than ever before. And, our goal is to give viewers an incredible product to enjoy." The Shootout will be carried in St. Louis on KPLR 11, in Kansas City on KMCI TV and in Springfield on KY3. Additionally, the races will be broadcast live on the local cable and streaming networks of LakeTV, CoMo Connect, Lake Expo, Fidelity TV, Facebook and ROKU. On radio, the Shootout will be broadcast on COOL 102.7 FM around the Lake of the Ozarks.
While the weekend's races draw the biggest crowds, there are many Shootout events leading up to the high-octane weekend. Other events and activities include the Mini Shootout the weekend of August 16 and 17, featuring remote-controlled race boats that reach speeds upwards of 120 miles per hour near the springs of Ha Ha Tonka State Park; the "Run What Ya Brung" Poker Run takes place throughout the day on Friday, Aug. 16; a Shootout Treasure Hunt on Monday, Aug. 19 in the sandy beaches at Captain Ron's; the Shootout Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony at Cannon Smoked Saloon in Sunrise Beach on Tuesday, Aug. 20; and the Float Your Boat contest where participants build the most sea-worthy vessels exclusively out of cardboard and duct tape on Tuesday, Aug. 20.
Race fans will have the opportunity to check out these impressive speed machines up close and in-person during the popular "Shootout on the Strip" meet and greet party along the historic Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 21. This street party runs from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. and is a great way to meet the captains and crews of each participating vessel and take in incredible engineering behind the participating powerboats. There also will be fun and entertaining activities for children.
One of the highlights of the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout is the Wishing On A Ride program. For this event, powerboat captains donate their time to give special powerboat rides to over 150 children and adults from around the state with disabilities and/or serious medical conditions. Wishing On A Ride takes place from 12 noon until 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18 at Redhead Yacht Club and Marina and Performance Boat Center in Osage Beach and again on Thursday, Aug. 22 at Dock Three at Captain Ron's. This program is sponsored by the Missouri-Kansas Make a Wish Foundation, Oak Star Bank and Shore Magazine.
"It's an amazing event," says Tiffany Maasen, the organizer of Wishing on a Ride. "We're able to help 'Make a Wish kids' break out of their day-to-day routine of doctor appointments and medical treatments by giving them a special experience. It's something remarkable and fun that not only the kids get to enjoy but their families, too. They get to enjoy it together and it's just awesome. It's incredible how everyone comes together - from our sponsors to the host families, local resorts and the boat drivers - to ensure our Wishing on a Ride families have the most wonderful time at the Lake of the Ozarks. It means so much to these families and the joy it brings them is priceless."
While the Shootout is one of the most popular summer events at the Lake of the Ozarks, it also has the distinction of being one of the most successful fundraisers for the Lake area. Last year, the Shootout donated over $300,000 to 32 local charities and eight fire departments. Since Captain Ron's began hosting the Shootout in 2008, the event has generated nearly $1.5 million dollars for local Lake of the Ozarks charities.
For complete details on the 2019 Shootout, including information on lodging and parking as well as a full schedule of activities , visit www.LakeOfTheOzarksShootout.com.
For more ways to have fun at the Lake of the Ozarks and to get information on additional events, year around attractions, and lodging and dining options available at the Lake, visit the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau's award-winning website, www.FunLake.com, or call 1-800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253).