The 15th annual Texas Outlaw Challenge, set for June 22-26, is gearing up to be Clear Lake’s biggest and baddest so far. Registrations are exceeding expectations, according to event organizer Paul Robinson, who added, “It’s just amazing that we’re in our 15th year and we still have the support of so many people throughout the years.”
The action kicks off with an early-arrival welcome party at the Barge 295 in Seabrook on Wednesday, followed by a Fun Run noon to 4 p.m. on Thursday afternoon to Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House. That’s followed by a Stampede Street Party, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Downtown Kemah, TX.
The event’s famous Shootout, which takes place on Friday morning, has become an invitation-only event, mostly owing to time constraints. “We’re very tightly focused on the best and the fastest in each category, and we only have time to run about 30 passes safely,” Robinson says. “That allows us time to do a pass every four minutes, so we can only accommodate a very limited number of attendees.” Winners of previous Shootouts will top the list of those invited to participate; among those already committed to running the Shootout are Gary Smith in his Predator III Skater and the Huski Chocolate 54’ MTI, which nabbed a top speed of 164 mph at the 2018 event. (Smith, meanwhile, is fresh off from taking his latest King of the Desert award at Desert Storm’s own Shootout, with a top speed of 184.8 mph.)
Also attending the Shootout are a pair of champion DCBs: Mauricio Vivanco in his open-bow DCB M44 Widebody, and his friend Jeff Clark, owner of the M31 Widebody Liquidated Damages.
Traditionally, following the Shootout, participants head over to Kenny Armstrong‘s house—sit of the TOC’s infamous pool party. After the COVID pandemic prevented that part of the event from happening in 2021, it returns to the schedule this year on Friday between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Gunslinger Poker Run will run Friday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and begin Saturday at 10 a.m. with the Shotgun Boat Parade. Poker stops this year will include Bayland Marina, Barge 295, Blue Marlin Fuel Dock, Topwater Grill, Marina Bay Harbor Marina, Pier 6, Stingarees Restaurant and—on Saturday only—the Gunslinger Pool Stop (sponsored by Legend Marine) at Harborwalk.
But the fun on Friday doesn’t stop there. Robinson said that $10,000 in cash prizes would be given out to winners of the event’s big Bikini Contests, where participants will compete for the titles Miss Outlaw on Friday (a total of $5,000 in cash prizes) and Miss Shootout on Sunday (featuring an additional $5,000). These contests will include two judging panels and winners in First Place ($2,500), Second Place (1,400) and Third Place ($800), and People’s Choice ($300).
Following Saturday’s Poker Run and pool party, participants will gather from 4 to 7 p.m. at Pier 6 for a champagne party, followed by the “Outlaws to the Max” party and award ceremony at MarineMax in Seabrook, 8 to 11 p.m.
Sunday will bring an all-new addition to the mix: the Texas Outlaw Fishing Tournament Shootout. “Many people want to be part of the Outlaw Challenge, but don’t own a fast boat,” Robinson says. “So in past years, we’ve had car shows and bike rallies. Response to the Fishing Tournament has been incredible—I should have done this 10 years ago.” The tournament will be divided into offshore and inshore categories.
In addition to $10,000 in cash payout winnings, the tournament will offer trophies, door prizes, a buffet and a “Vendor Village,” all based out of the Topwater Grill Gulf Coast Seafood Restaurant.