Shootout organizers expect high turnout

Organizers for the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout expect turnout for this year's event to top last year's.

Organizers for the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout expect turnout for this year's event to top last year's.

The main races aren't until next weekend, but events kick off this Friday.

"This weekend we have what's called a 'mini shootout,' and it's remote-controlled boats and last year's winner went 119 miles an hour," Ron Duggan, President of the Shootout Corporation and owner of event site Captain Ron's in Sunrise Beach, said.

This is the Shootout's 26 year, and Duggan expects the largest turnout yet.

That's mostly because last year's winner shattered a previous world record, clocking in at 224 miles per hour.

"My phone started ringing off the wall with people that had never been to the event that decided it was one of the must-see events," Duggan said.

Duggan expects about 100,000 people to attend Shootout events.

"Well we get here at like seven or eight in the morning to clean and stock and everything," Antone Costa, an employee at Captain Ron's, said.

"And then the next day we're here at seven or eight again, stay until like three o'clock in the morning and then... it's a whole weekend event."

"We're really busy back here...on the beach you can't really see the sand or anything because there are so many people," Captain Ron's employee Michael Paladino said.

This is Captain Ron's employee Tyren Price's first Shootout.

"I know from BROStock experience, I thought that was pretty crazy but they said it's nothing compared to this weekend," Price said.

Preparation for the Shootout begins long before the event. The Shootout Board meets year round, and vendors begin to set up at Captain Ron's on the Thursday before the race.

"The Wednesday before the Shootout itself we'll lay down two miles of green and red buoys," board member Kent Morris said.

"The green buoys are what keep the spectators back off the course and we have a green zone and then we have the red buoys which is the race course itself."

Organizers expect between 6,000 and 8,000 spectator boats on the water watching the races.

"We have a 400 foot buffer zone, and so we keep them a little bit on the other side of the buffer zone so if the wind picks up and the raft of boats breaks loose from the wind, we have a little bit of wiggle room to get them back to where they need to be so we can continue racing," Adam Morris, who will be maintaining safety in the buffer zone, said.

Last year's Shootout raised $115,000 for various charities.

For more information on the Shootout, click here.