Lake Shootout events finish with finals this afternoon

The Midwest Boats pontoon racing team of Cedar Falls, Iowa, showcases their award-winning watercraft at Captain Ron’s Saturday before taking to the Shootout’s time trial course later in the day. This team won first place at the Offshore Super Series-sanctioned Lake Race 2013’s first-ever pontoon boat race, which was held in June in Lake Ozark near Bagnell Dam.

The Midwest Boats pontoon racing team of Cedar Falls, Iowa, showcases their award-winning watercraft at Captain Ron’s Saturday before taking to the Shootout’s time trial course later in the day. This team won first place at the Offshore Super Series-sanctioned Lake Race 2013’s first-ever pontoon boat race, which was held in June in Lake Ozark near Bagnell Dam. Photo by Samantha Edmondson.

More than 50 attendees Attendees watched as Sue Morgan and her daughter Amanda Snyder pulled a rope, revealing the Bob Morgan Memorial Shootout Hall of Fame monument in which helps honor Sue's husband and Amanda's father, Saturday as part of the 25th annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout at Captain Ron’s in Sunrise Beach.

As part of the Shootout’s silver anniversary, the memorial was designed and constructed to honor Morgan, who passed away along with his teammate his teammate, Jeff “JT” Tillman when the men’s 46-foot Skater, also known as Bad Moon Risin’, crashed during the Super Boat International Championships November 2011 in Key West, Fla.

Morgan has been a long time Shootout icon, wining Top Gun honors in 1991 and 1995 under his Big Thunder name. Tillman joined up with Morgan, racing together for the first time during the 2008 Offshore Super Series Championships at Lake of the Ozarks with Bad Moon Risin’.

The memorial features a metal statue of Bob Morgan and his No. 100 “Big Thunder” race boat; the opposite wall honors the new Hall of Fame inductees with nameplates. Eight-by-eight inch bricks also make up the memorial and 4-by-8 inch bricks line the walkway to the memorial, which both can be purchased to help go toward the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout’s charitable contributions given to more than 20 local organizations and emergency responders from its proceeds.

Following the memorial unveiling ceremony, three U.S. Air Force flyovers were conducted to honor Morgan and Tillman before their friends and former fellow Shootout competitors took to the water for Saturday’s first round of competition and qualifying time trial rounds.

As part of the weeklong events leading up to Lake of the Ozarks Shootout powerboat races Saturday and today, a Bob Morgan Memorial Shootout Hall of Fame induction ceremony dinner was held Aug. 22 at Cannon Smoked Saloon’s The Stables venue in Sunrise Beach. A number of the Shootout’s longtime contributors, racers and others were honored, with many being the first inductees with nameplates added to the new memorial at Captain Ron’s.

The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout is the largest unsanctioned boat race in the country, featuring some of the top racers and offshore racing powerboats in the U.S. and Canada. Powerboat Magazine lists it as one of eight “must-see” boating events, and the magazine readers have voted it the No. 1 race in the country. This year’s Shootout features racing by watercraft ranging from remote-controlled boats to personal watercraft to offshore racing boats flying down the Lake at speeds of 200 mph, according to an event news release.

Ron Duggan, event sponsor and Captain Ron’s owner, said the event continues to grow each year, with more events and bigger crowds at his venue, which has hosted the event for six years. He said in an event news release he estimates participation of approximately 120 racers and 100,000 spectators during the 10-day event.

“Most importantly, however, the donations to local charities benefitting from the event continue to grow. That’s what it’s really all about,” Duggan said, noting that last year’s Shootout raised $100,000 for 22 area charities, including six local fire protection districts. This year Shootout charities include Boy Scouts of America, Citizens Against Domestic Violence, Coffman Bend Fire Association, Dogwood Animal Shelter, Laurie Elks Lodge, Habitat for Humanity, Knights of Columbia Council at St. Patrick’s Church, Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance, Lake Ozark Elks Club, Lake of the Ozarks Fire Protection District, Ozarks Coast Kiwanis, Lake of the Ozarks Shriners, Lake West Chamber of Commerce, Laurie/Sunrise Beach Rotary Club, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Mid-County Fire Protection District, Master Naturalists, Northwest Fire Protection District, Osage Beach Fire Protection District, Camden County Saddle Club, Share the Harvest Food Pantry, Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District and Lake of the Ozarks Water Safety Council.

The Shootout’s power boat racing continues from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. Closing ceremonies are at 4 p.m., including the awards presentations for each class and crowning of the race’s overall “Top Gun.”

From 9 a.m.-4 p.m., attendees can enjoy vendor booths featuring everything from sunglasses to boat motors. Duggan said he estimates as many as 20,000 people will walk through “vendor village” and “racer village” during the Shootout. While there are entry fees to a number of the week’s activities, Duggan emphasized the opportunity to watch the race and meet the racers is free and accessible to all attendees. There are three official parking lots at the old Wood’s Supermarket in Greenview, the Rock Quarry at north Highway 5 and Lake Road 5-40, and Laurie Motors in Sunrise Beach. Parking is $10 but includes shuttle service to and from Captain Ron’s.

Captain Ron’s provides fans with viewing options on land with a “jumbotron” and dozens of televisions on the beach, docks and inside the bar and restaurant, according to the event news release. Attendees who want to see the races from the water are welcome to tie up along the course to watch. Last year’s flotilla included approximately 9,000 boats along the length of the course. The cruise boat Celebration also offers the opportunity to watch the race from its decks, with shuttle service from Captain Ron’s. For those who cannot attend in person, the Shootout will be streaming online at www.Ustream.tv and featured on KRBK Fox Channel.

For more information, visit the Shootout’s website at www.lakeoftheozarksshootout.org.

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