This weekend, August 26th and 27th, it’s The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout! It’s the 35th running of the largest unsanctioned boat race in the US! Powerboat Magazine calls it “one of the must-see boating events!” Being from the region and a fan of boats, I’ve witnessed several running’s of the annual event going back to when the race was held out front of Shooters 21.

The history of the race goes back even further than that. Back in the day, locals would gather at “6 Mile Cove” and drag race just to see “who’s fastest!” Boats of all kinds, drag boats, flat bottoms, and of course powerboats, would run side-by-side. No helmets, no rules, just pure speed.  It wasn’t long before the Missouri Water Patrol caught wind of the activity and put a stop to the “outlaw” races. The locals still wanted to run so the idea was birthed to have a legit event and to help win approval, the race would benefit the local fire department. And just like that, The “Lake Rescue Shootout” was born. As the race grew and moved to Shooters 21 is became known as The “Shooters Shootout.” No one imagined then it would become the spectacle it has today. Now, extreme machines from 30 states and countries descend on the Lake Of The Ozarks to see “who’s fastest!” Since 2009, the weekend of racing is hosted by Capitan Ron’s and runs in the main channel at the 34 mile marker.

On the Wednesday evening before the race weekend, some of the worlds fastest boat of all kinds, most of whom will run, are on display on the Bagnall Dam Strip. The street is blocked off and thousands of folks stroll the strip checking out these eye-popping machines. Mixed in with these world-class race boats are exotic cars, motorcycles, and almost as cool, the boats’ tow vehicles. It’s quite the sight and it’s only happens once a year so don’t miss The Shootout On The Strip 2024!