Keith Holmes and 'Cat Can Do'

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — The Lake's biggest boat race will be celebrating its 25th birthday this month.

The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout has brought racers from around the world to display the limits of speed in vessels ranging from PWCs to catamarans sporting horsepower in the thousands.

Lake Expo focuses its Shootout Spotlights on men and women who have distinguished themselves in recent Shootouts, and who offer the promise of exciting runs this year.

The Shootout is scheduled for Aug. 16–25.

For more information, visit


Name: Keith Holmes, Throttleman

Co-racer’s name: 2012, Micheal Holford, Driver; 2013, Barry Glovick, Throttleman

Boat Name: Cat Can Do

Port of Call: Nunica, Mich.

Boat make/model: Douglas Marine 40-ft. Race Skater

Shootout Race Classification: PC5P2, Professional Cat, power added features, 2 engines

Horsepower: Two Sterling 1200s

Modifications: Extension boxes, SCS crash boxes, the first ever 12-inch widened tunnel. It’s a full race boat.

Fastest Speed: 178 mph

Notable Races/Wins:

1999 Argentina Gran Prix

2003 Key West Worlds

2012 St. Clair River Race

2012 LOZ Shootout Professional Cat Top Gun

Sponsor(s): Jarvis Fire and Repair, the Art of Design, Quality Inn Osage Beach, Sterling Racing Engines, Handy Wacks and CK Motorsports.    

Business: Owner/Manager of CK Motorsports, a Mercury high performance dealer featuring custom engines and rigging. “I turned my racing passion into my business.”

Describe the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in one word: Awesome

What do you like about the LOZ Shootout?

I enjoy all the boats, the people and seeing good friends. For me it’s like going to the race track and seeing all the meanest and baddest boats in the country. (Keith has raced in the Shootout a dozen times, driving/throttling his and other racers' boats.)

Talk about your last year’s record?

My intention was to race in memory of Bob Morgan and J.T. Tillman. I was his crew chief and Bob is the one that got me started racing at the Shootout. Since there was a dedication to Bob last year, I put his Big Thunder No. 100 on my Cat Can Do over the No. 19. I did three or four passes in the professional cat class and won because I was lucky those guys with the 1700 HP engines didn’t show up.   

What is your racing strategy for the 2013 LOZ Shootout? Building a new set of 1700 HP engines

When, where, what and why did you first start racing?

My first race was at the 1993 World Championships in Key West, Fla. I came in seventh out of 19 in my boat “Fast Cash,” a 32-ft. Active Thundercat. Fast Cash also won the 1991 Second Annual Shootout Top Gun award. My philosophy is, ‘Nothing is impossible if you want it, it’s there, you just have to go get it.’”

What separates boating at Lake of the Ozarks from other destinations?

The Lake is so vast and unique with all the destinations on the water. You can walk out of your condo to your boat slip, and go out to eat, or tie-up in the cove with friendly Lake people.  

How does the LOZ Shootout event compare to other races?

A really high standard has been set that is as high as any other event in the country. There are other events on the same level of quality, but the Shootout has its own flavor, that no one else matches.

Best racing memory?

In 1999 when I blew over in Cat Can Do at 143 mph, and then we turned around and came back to win the race two days later.

Worst Racing Memory?

In 1999 I was racing with Bob Morgan at the World’s in Key West, Fla. and our boat flipped doing 130 mph. My seat belt would not unlatch and I was trapped. We had won the first race, and during the second race we blew a drive in the last lap. The boat still would go 130 mph, but when the one drive locked up we went over a 10-ft. roller and the bow dropped in and we slowly rolled over… nothing violent, but my seatbelt malfunctioned and wouldn’t release. We had just switched over to the same air system they use in the F16 fighter jets, so I was on full-time air. My air filled up with water because the tube wasn’t tight enough on my face. I started to panic a little, even after practicing the same scenario in simulators throughout the year. After struggling with the seat belt, and then my adrenalin kicked in…along with a short panic. Things got a little urgent after holding my breath that long. When I realized I couldn’t get out of the boat I sucked the water out and blue it out of my mouth and got the air flowing again. I just waited because I knew the helicopter and rescue divers would come. The divers showed up and cut my seat belt and I got out of the boat. The whole time I was upside down an inboard video shot me.   

Family: Wife, Rebecca with five children between them.

What do you do when you're not racing boats?

My second favorite thing next to race boats, besides my wife, is hockey. I grew up playing in Canada and I have coached hockey for 11 years. Many of the kids are now top level players.


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