Every Lake of the Ozarks Shootout—and we’ve covered the Central Missouri event for more than 20 years—has a different character. But you could sum up this year’s happening, which ended with today’s weather-abbreviated finale on the three-quarter mile course in one word.
The 51-foot Mystic catamaran American Ethanol set a new three-quarter-mile course record with a 207-mph run at the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri on Sunday. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
As in 143 runs down the course yesterday and 85 more today. As in the largest turnout to date for Wednesday night’s Shootout On The Strip exhibit sponsored by Waves and Wheels. As in event title sponsor Performance Boat Center’s Thursday night welcome party, where thousands of guests were treated to free Mexican food, the premiere of the Speed On The Water “In The Lead with M CON’s Tyler Miller” video and an extravagant fireworks display. As in the largest Saturday night live auction with $150,000 being raised during Super Cat Fest at Camden on the Lake Resort.
But much-appreciated as all of those happenings are by all who experience them firsthand not to mention their charitable impacts, the main event is still the top-speed contest hosted by Captain Ron’s Bar & Grill in Sunrise Beach. The most spectacular firework of all this weekend was this morning’s 207-mph run by John Cosker and Tony Battiato in Don Onken’s 51-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran American Ethanol. After Saturday’s relatively easy 199-mph run, Cosker and Battiato were optimistic ahead of today’s competition.
This morning’s result was particularly satisfying given that engine issues prevented the team from breaking 200 mph in last year’s event. The boat’s previous top speed on the three-quarter-mile course was 204 mph.
“I was hoping for a number like that, of course, but I didn’t know if it was going to happen,” said Cosker, who owns Mystic Powerboats in DeLand. Fla. “But right off the line, we had great rpm and the boat really loosened up. I had to adjust the trim a little bit, but mostly I just left it alone.”
Not to be overshadowed by a 51-foot catamaran, Factory Billet Power’s Jim Schultz and Mike Faucher piloted their 51-foot long Outerlimits V-bottom to 166 mph.
Schultz described the run, which topped the Illinois duo’s prior high mark of 164 mph, as flawless.
“Out of all the times we’ve done this, and I think it’s been six years now, everything was right—the approach to the flag and anticipating it so we could pull boost, our line down the course, which you want to take at an angle, was perfect,” he said. “The boat settled down immediately and pulled all the way through.
“The crazy thing about it?” he added then laughed. “We were running in test-boost mode. We could add another six pounds of boost.”
Given Dennis and Jason Parvey’s promising 161-mph performance yesterday and the confidence they have in their current setup, which as friendly rivals they worked on with the Factory Billet team, the father-and-son duo was heading out to make their first run this morning. But a broken timing belt on one of their 2,000-plus-hp engines ended their weekend as they idled to the start line.
Though they were disappointed today, they were anything but with their 43-foot open-cockpit Black Thunder V-bottom’s performance. And not just when it came to top speed.
“The boat performed great,” Jason Parvey said. “We had it turned up a bit more this morning and everything was ready to go. I think we could have posted low-to-mid 160s—but that will have to wait until next year. That said, the pass from Factory Billet was amazing.
“We are super excited as well that we finally got all of our in/out of gear issues figured out for docking,” he added. “That was by far the most challenging part of the (Factory Billet-supplied transmission) project.”
Although she ran close to 100-mph slower than the Parveys and Factory Billet, Carrie Sixkiller—a member of the event’s Bob Morgan Memorial Hall of Fame—was just as excited about her speed gains on Sunday as she blasted to 73 mph in her 24-foot Baja Marine V-bottom B-Nauti. Her previous best on the three-quarter-mile course, which she did yesterday and other times, was 69 mph—her fastest one-mile-course speed was 79 mph at the old Shooters 21 location.
Carrie Sixkiller drove her 24-foot Baja V-bottom to a personal-best 73 mph on the three-quarter-mile Shootout course. Photo by Pete Boden
“Today was totally awesome—I finally broke 70 mph on this course,” Sixkiller said. “I went 69 mph yesterday and was thinking she had another mph in her so I went out early today hoping for some cooler temperatures. It was cooler but it was humid so everyone was hot and sweaty out there waiting to run. I put the hatch up a little to let a little air get into the engine compartment and went for it.
“What’s crazy is that about halfway down the course she started to chine and I had to pull out of it because I couldn’t throttle through it,” she continued. “I pulled off, shut it down for a second and she settled down, then I hammered it to the finish. We went through at 73 mph, which was awesome. I was OK with a 69 but I sure love a 73.”
Sixkiller gave some love to her good friend, Andrew Naab, who is also from Topeka, Kan., and was competing in the Shootout in his 27-foot Fountain Powerboats V-bottom for the first time and ran the same speed—73 mph. It actually was Naab’s second time running the boat in the Shootout as he “borrowed” the boat in 2021 from Ron Duggan, the owner of Captain Ron’s, and ended up purchasing it from him.
Adding to the fireworks as well as Saturday’s fastest electric-powered boat record, Shaun Torrente, the driver and set-up man behind the Vision Marine Technologies Inc. 32-foot Hellkats Powerboats-constructed catamaran powered by twin V-MTI E-Motion 180E 160-kilowatt electric outboards that ran 104 mph yesterday, upped the mark today with a 109-mph pass.
“It was good to get out there today and back up the run with an even faster one,” said Torrente, the two-time F1 H2O world champion behind Shaun Torrente Racing in Florida. “The bigger props worked out better than expected. The team made some adjustments in an attempt to get more power at the start and I also did a better lead-in to the start box today.”
Shaun Torrente increased his top speed in the electric-powered Vision 32 catamaran to 109 mph on Sunday. Photo by Pete Boden
Torrente, who had only competed in the Shootout once before in a previously owned 28-foot Skater catamaran, also made two passes in the Super Stock-class Raymarine-sponsored 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran he races alongside Sean Conner. On Saturday, his run was disqualified as he entered the start box faster than 40 mph. On Sunday, he and Conner ran 116 mph to claim top honors in their class.
A few of other notable catamarans also made significant improvements in their speeds on Sunday. Starting with the MTI 390X raceboat that competes in the 450R Factory Stock class, Taylor Scism and her father, Randy Scism, upped their 39-footer’s performance to 120 mph. Offshore racing teammates Rob Unnerstall and Casey Boaz, who used to race the Super Stock Doug Wright cat Torrente ran today, increased their best run in their new-to-them 38-foot Skater by 10 mph to 171 mph.
Taylor Scism and her MTI founding-father, Randy, upped their top speed to 120 mph this morning.
Another Skater owner, Iowa’s Tom Kennedy bumped his 114-mph top speed on Saturday to 119 mph on Sunday in his 28-foot Skater powered by twin Mercury Racing Pro Max 300X engines.
The aforementioned unmanned-boat incident occurred a couple of hours into the event when Mark Fargo was ejected when his pontoon boat hooked and then remained circling at a relatively slow speed until safety crews corralled it enough while a fireboat aimed its water cannon at its throttle to get it down to idle speed before it was boarded and shut down.
Back to the boat of the weekend—American Ethanol.
After climbing out of the canopied catamaran hours before accepting his eighth-straight overall Top Gun trophy at the 34th annual event’s awards ceremony this afternoon, Cosker, who also debuted his company’s new M5200 luxury performance center console at the lake last week, summed it perfectly, “It was a great weekend.”
And a massive one at that.
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