LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — In a stunning display of speed, the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout defending champion American Ethanol hit 202 mph in their first run of the day, on Saturday morning.
The Shootout boat races bring powerboaters from across the country to test their top speed on a 3/4-mile race course, near Captain Ron’s Bar & Grill, at the Lake’s 33 Mile Marker. The one-at-a-time race is attended by an estimated 100,000+ people, on water and land, every year; it is also streamed online and broadcast on TV stations across the state of Missouri.
American Ethanol, a 51-foot Mystic catamaran powered by ethanol-powered quad-outboard engines, boasts upward of 6,000 horsepower, and has been the reigning champion—known as the “Top Gun”—at the annual Shootout for five years in a row. The boat is owned by racing legend Don Onken, and is driven by Tony Battiato and Mystic Powerboats owner and founder John Cosker. American Ethanol’s best-ever speed was 217 mph, but that was when the Shootout race course was one mile long. Its top speed on the 3/4-mile course is 204 mph. The fastest boat ever to run in the Shootout was the 2014 Top Gun, Spirit of Qatar, which hit a blistering 244 mph.
Saturday's 202 mph run will likely secure American Ethanol the Top Gun title of 2020, as no other competitor has crested 200 mph in recent years.
The Shootout races extend across two days, every year, the weekend before Labor Day Weekend. The Shootout is in its 32nd year, and is the largest unsanctioned powerboat race in the country.