Onken Racing captured Top Gun honors for the second consecutive year in American Ethanol, a 51-foot Mystic, during the 2018 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.
The boat, powered by quad, custom piston-powered engines totaling 9,000 hp, was piloted by Tony Battiato and Mystic President John Cosker. Their speed of 204 mph duplicated their 2017 achievement.
The LOTO event, which comprises a street party, poker run, silent auction and various other events, kept the Missouri boating mecca bustling for most of last week. But the main attraction was the Shootout, which challenges dozens of teams to capture the highest speed in their class over a course measuring 3/4 of a mile. Among the highlights:
• Rusty Rahm in the Team Wake Effects, a 48’ MTI, ran alongside a bi-plane in a drag race that really dazzled the event’s thousands of spectators; Rahm’s top Shootout speed was 151 mph.
• The father/daughter duo of Taylor and Randy Scism recorded a top speed of 116 mph in their outboard-powered MTI 340X.
“I thought it went extremely well,” event organizer “Captain Ron” Duggan told Powerboat Nation. “It was very smooth, and all of the events were very well attended. Our goal was to raise $250,000 this year, and I believe we might have surpassed that.”
The Shootout event raises cash for more than 35 organizations, including several fire departments and nonprofit organizations around the Lake of the Ozarks, including the Elks Club, Kiwanis International, Rotary Club and Habitat for Humanity. “There are all kinds of clubs who help put this on,” Duggan said.
The only flies in the ointment this year were a couple of ill-timed weather situations. “It was a little windy the first day of the Shootout,” Duggan said. “A cross wind about halfway down the course came through a cove, and that kept some of the speeds down. It slowed some guys down a bit. On Friday, we had a wonderful poker run with 92 boats. It was raining, but everybody still participated and had a great time.”
He added: “There’s not much we can do about the weather—that’s controlled by a little higher authority than me.”