LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — A day of powerboat racing became dramatic when a race boat flipped while coming around a turn.
At around 12:30 p.m., at the Offshore Powerboating Association sanctioned Lake Race, the approximately 30-foot Fastboys Racing boat wrecked. The boat was coming around one end of the 4-mile loop course, when it appeared to catch a bad wave in between the two turns, and flipped over. In an interview with LakeTV, the head of OPA, Ed "Smitty" Smith explained it appeared the boat, "hooked an edge, and put it up on its roof." The crash appeared to have ripped a hole in the rear part of the canopied cockpit.
For a minute, the boat remained upside-down, but soon righted itself, as the remaining air in the hull rushed to the bow, and the boat stayed buoyant, allowing the driver and throttleman, Ken Bolinger and Jason Govatos to escape. Both men appeared able to move in the water on their own, as rescue boats and a helicopter swarmed to the scene, and the bow bobbed above the waterline nearby.
Drivers are required to go through significant safety training, including dunk simulators in which they practice escaping from a submerged boat.
Fastboys was competing in the Super Vee Extreme class, which was full of racers: 10 boats showed up to contend at Lake Race. The Super Vee Extreme class allows drivers to run at unlimited speeds, in boats powered by a single 650 horsepower engine. The crash will be a disappointing blow for the new Fastboys team, who won their first-ever professional race in Cocoa Beach, but will take a DNF at Lake of the Ozarks, as the badly damaged boat was towed back to the docks.