When the Shootout ends, the Missouri State Highway Patrol/Water Patrol wants boaters to have a safe journey home. Captain Matt Walz, the Director of the MSHP's Marine Division, spoke with LakeExpo.com at the Shootout Poker Run on Friday, Aug. 24, and in that conversation he emphasized two things:
1) The Patrol wants to be a facilitator of safe boating, rather than a heavy-handed enforcer or killjoy
2) Saturday's extended No-Wake Zone is the best means the Patrol has for ensuring boaters are safe, docks are protected, and the many thousands of fans are able to clear out of the race area without incident.
But Walz also mentioned something many Shootout attendees may not know: they can't stay anchored in the spectator area long after the race ends. That's not to say all the boats will be leaving at once, but the Patrol does not want boaters to plan to "wait out" the Extended No-Wake Zone (which ends at 7 p.m.). That would defeat its purpose, Walz said.
The challenge, however, is the heat expected on Saturday: the National Weather Service is calling for a high of 95 degrees with a heat index over 100. Also, some performance boats are not built for long periods of idling. Walz pointed out all coves will be open for boaters to pull in and cool off, and boaters who need to get some speed going can head up Linn Creek Cove or the Niangua Arm for a ride once they reach the Four Corners, rather than continuing to idle downstream.
Another option for boaters who want to break up the long idle home is to stop in at one of the Lake's many waterfront restaurants for dinner. (Please remember to designate a sober driver if you choose to drink!) Here's more info about the No-Wake Zone and a look at where to go after the Shootout for great food and drinks: