Just finished Day No. 1 of the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout and I could sum it up with one word: Wow. Of course, you deserve a little more detail than that so:
•Best Moment of the Day: David Scott and John Tomlinson run 208 mph in Nauti-Marine, Scott's 50-foot-long Mystic catamaran with twin 2,000-hp engines. That's one mile an hour off the Top Gun record of the 30-year-old Shootout, and a new record for the new venue near Captain Ron's. "With another half mile, we'd have been at 230 mph," said Tomlinson. "The engines never stopped making power." The question is: Will they run again tomorrow? The engines reportedly have one run left in them before they require a tear-down. Plus, Scott and Tomlinson are pretty satisfied with their effort so far. They remain undecided at this point.
•Second coolest moment of the day: Chip Romer runs 186 mph in his Skater catamaran, making him the man most likely to collect $10,000 from Skater principal Peter Hledin. If Darr reaches 190 mph tomorrow, the prize goes up to $20,000.
•Coolest nearby event: OK, so Skaterfest really isn't that nearby. Lake of the Ozarks is one of those classic "You can't get there from here" kind of places, which makes the 15-mile drive to the Camden on the Lake Resort, where Skaterfest is being held, a 30-minute trek from Captain Ron's. But with almost 40 boats and their owners, families and friends, and folks like Hledin, Mike D'Anniballe of Sterling Performance and Dean Loucks of The Art of Design on hand to celebrate the Skater catamaran brand, this Midwest version of Skaterfest is far and away the best to date. "This venue is just tremendous," Hledin, who was on his way to a boat ride to the Shootout (Peter Hledin on a boat ride?), told me this morning. Look for a more in-depth story in the next issue of Powerboat magazine.
•Coolest new product debut: Titanium propellers for Hering. OK, I've known about these for about six months and I've been keeping my promise to keep my mouth shut, but they're finally out. I have no prices. I have no pitches. I have no hard performance data. But according to Ben Robertson, Jr., of Hering, a Skater 388 with 1,550-hp Sterling engines reportedly picked up 9 mph in top end during a 30-second acceleration test. Looking for a more in-depth article in the next issue of Powerboat magazine.
•Most frightening moment of the day: Me on local radio and television this morning. First, I had to follow my long-time friend and colleague at Powerboat magazine, Bob Teague, who has forgotten more about high-performance boats than I'll ever know, on the microphone. Second, Teague is a charismatic guy with the gift of gab. Third, I was a case study in nerves and discomfort. Four words come to mind in regard to how I did: Deer in the headlights.
More tomorrow, WiFi allowing.