Between mistakenly bypassing a late-night turnpike toll road station in Oklahoma, making a stop for lunch at the off-the-wall Big Texan in Amarillo, Texas, and doing a triple take at the late-August snowfall along Interstate 40 in New Mexico, I felt slightly out of place during my drive home from Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks to California earlier this week.
I also felt out of place because, for the previous six days, it was go-go-go at the lake between covering the extensive Lake of the Ozarks Shootout events and trying to make the overwhelming amount of parties—as in more than I could possibly attend. I know going into the Shootout each year that there are parties in store, but this year I—and the rest of the crew at speedonthewater.com that was in town for the event and the extremely popular Super Cat Fest at Camden on the Lake Resort—was slightly overwhelmed with everything happening.
So, while reflecting on all that had happened since I left my house with the speedonthewater.com trailer in tow on August 19, it was fitting that I heard the Kiss song “I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night (and Party Every Day)” several times on satellite radio because that could have been the anthem for the week in Missouri.
It started with Bob Morgan Memorial Hall of Fame ceremony on Tuesday evening at the Stables at Cannon Smoked Saloon, which was a great “who’s who” from the lake and the industry honoring the newest inductees into the Hall of Fame (read the story). From there it carried over into the Waves and Wheels/Bluave Marine Audio-sponsored Shootout on the Strip street festival along Bagnell Dam Boulevard on Wednesday evening.
As Matt Trulio wrote in his column last week (read it here), the organizers of the Shootout on the Strip nailed it this time around. It took a few years, but the spectacular showcase was better than ever as boats were lined up and down each side of the historic boulevard, including a lengthy string of Waves and Wheels-assembled boats, tow rigs, off-road vehicles, cars, personal watercraft and more (even the speedonthewater.com trailer was hooked into the chain) all blasting the same great music handled by a live DJ.
Of course the next night featured the one-and-only Performance Boat Center Shootout Welcome Party, which included dinner, a full bar, a live band and an amazing fireworks show. I don’t know how many people were in attendance—I’d guess at least 1,000-plus powerboat enthusiasts—but getting around the massive showroom and service center wasn’t easy. From there, we hit well-known MTI owner Bob Bull’s annual party on his dock behind his beautiful home on the lake and called it a day—a long day at that considering we had an aerial photo shoot first thing that morning.
Friday was just as jam-packed. It started with an impressive party-like breakfast at Big Thunder Marine to kick off the Poly Lift Boat Lifts-sponsored Shootout poker run, which included an appearance by the legendary Reggie Fountain. Later in the day, Michael “Doc” Janssen hosted a large group of Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats at his home, while Jared Morris, one of the owners of Sunsation Boats, invited a bunch of people’s to his family’s home for a fun dock-side barbecue.
The outrageous Super Cat Fest Wet-n-Wild bikini contest sponsored by IR Designs and Wozencraft Insurance concluded the Friday evening fun, and the Super Cat Fest crew stepped it up with a fun party on Saturday night at Camden on the Lake that included the Shootout’s live auction that raised more than $20,000 for charity.
That was pretty much it unless I missed some gathering that took place following the Shootout awards ceremony at Captain Ron’s, the host venue for the top-speed event. Even if there was something going on, I wouldn’t have made it because I hooked up the trailer and headed off to Tulsa, Okla., thinking about what a great event the 29th annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout was.
Former Powerboat editor Jason Johnson was an integral part of the magazine staff from 2005 through 2011, utilizing journalistic integrity and experience in and around performance boats to report on all aspects of the go-fast lifestyle. The award-winning writer resides in Southern California and is the executive editor and co-publisher of speedonthewater.com.