We went to a shootout last weekend.

Not that kind of shootout!

The Shootout is an annual event at the Lake of the Ozarks – the largest unsanctioned boat race in the Midwest with over 100 racers and 100,000 spectators.  This was the 25th year, and we had a bird’s-eye view at DSH’s boss’ condo which overlooked the one-mile long “track”.  Do they call it a “track”?

Shootout racers

If you would have told me a year ago that I would be attending a boat race, I would have told you that you were out of your mind.

There I go again!  Never say never.

Shootout boat audience

Most of the spectators line up in their boats, which are tied together.  You could hear the revelry from our comfortable post on the 4th floor deck.  With convenient access to a kitchen and bathroom, I might add.

Shootout boat crowds

Here is another view of the boats tied up.  You can see Captain Ron’s Bar and Grill in the distance.  They are one of the main sponsors of the Shootout.

Shootout pirate boat

Captain Ron’s has a pirate theme so we were wondering if this might have been their boat.

Shootout party boat

Here was another party boat that we thought might have been selling stuff as it trolled up and down the line of spectator boats.


This looked like a fun boat, too, although the palm tree is a little out of place here in the middle of the country.

Shootout fire and rescue

But it wasn’t all fun and games.  The proceeds from the Shootout benefit various charities around the Lake including emergency services.

Shootout fire rescue boat

Fortunately, we didn’t see any emergencies although we suspect there were lots of cases of sunburns and hangovers.

Shootout red cross boat

All of the big boats around, and the Red Cross was stuck in a little fishing boat.

Shootout helicopter

There were also helicopters flying over the area.

Shootout helicopter2

It looked like this one had a person in it with diving gear on.

Shootout batman helicopter

Here is the photo helicopter chasing the Batman boat.  I thought that was fun.

The photo helicopter chased all of the boats as they sped up the track.  Then it would make hairpin turns to return to the starting line to chase the next boat.

Except for one set of two boats, they ran the track individually so there was always a few minutes between each boat racing up the track.

Shootout photo boat

Here was the photo boat.

I learned a lot about boats watching the Shootout.  Who knew there were so many types?  Since we are in the market for a boat, it was a learning experience.  We keep hearing over and over again – the two best days in a boat owner’s life are the day you buy a boat and the day you sell a boat.

We just want something in our budget that will fit in our existing dock and that we can use to take the family out for some fun.  Nothing fancy.  Or more expensive than our homes.

We saw lots of fast boats.  On Saturday, the previous record of 208 mph was broken by a boat going 209 mph.

The record was smashed on Sunday, when a boat named My Way clocked 224 mph!

Shootout pontoon boat

Out of all of the boats that we saw, my favorite was this pontoon boat.  It was going so fast that it was out of the water!

Yes, someone was actually racing a pontoon boat.  This ain’t your granddaddy’s pontoon boat!

We had fun doing something new and different and hope to add many more unique experiences to our empty nest life!

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