American Ethanol Still Top Gun

A 204-mph run takes the top-speed prize at the 30th Annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.

American Ethanol Still Top Gun
American Ethanol defended its Top Gun title with a run of 204 mph on the three-quarter mile course.Courtesy Pete Boden/

Strong cross winds and high temperatures on the first day of the 30th Annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout did not hold back American Ethanol as the 51-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran owned by Don Onken successfully defended its Top Gun title with a run of 204 mph on the three-quarter mile course. That effort matched the mark the team set last year, also with Mystic owner John Coske on the throttles and driver Tony Battiato in the cockpit.

On the morning of August 25, the first day of the two-day shoot-out hosted at Captain Ron’s Bar and Grill in Sunrise Beach, Mo., the course was buffeted by sustained crosswinds of 12 mph and gusts up to 20 mph. When the winds subsided somewhat in the afternoon, the heat rose to 95 degrees.

Cosker and Battiato coaxed American Ethanol to a top speed of 189 mph and 198 mph on its first two runs before uncorking the 204-mph blast. A blown supercharger belt ended the day for the team, which chose not to run at all on Sunday.

Factory Billet
Factory Billet cranked out an impressive 162 mph.Courtesy Pete Boden/

The Sunday highlight turned out to be the top speed reached by Jim Schultz and Mike Faucher in Factory Billet, an Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats 51 GTX powered by twin flexible fuel 1,950-/1,650-hp turbocharged Factory Billet engines. The teammates ran down the course at an impressive 162 mph, which was one mph faster than the speed the team ran in 2017.

Big Thunder Marine
The Big Thunder Marine 32-foot Fountain Powerboats catamaran hit 119 mph.Courtesy Pete Boden/

First-time Shootout competitor Billy Moore of Florida upped the 114-mph pass he did on Saturday in the Big Thunder Marine 32-foot Fountain Powerboats catamaran powered twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines to 119 mph.

"Man that was fun—I had a great time here this year," said Moore, who was part of the crew for the Spirit of Qatar Mystic cat that ran a mind-blowing 244 mph to claim the overall Top Gun trophy in 2014. "It was nice to be able and come out and run faster today and put up a good number for the team at Fountain and Big Thunder Marine."

Torqeedo Ozarks
Editor-at-Large Randy Vance piloted the Torqeedo-powered Calypso Classic center console.Courtesy Torqeedo

The slowest boat at the Shootout was also the most novel. A 23-foot Calypso Classic center console powered by a single Torqeedo 80-hp/66-kilowatt Deep Blue electric outboard zipped through the course a 25 mph, with Boating Magazine Editor-at-Large Randy Vance at the helm. The energy came from Torqeedo high-capacity Deep Blue batteries with BMW i technology. Thanks to cooperation with BMW i, Torqeedo has made state-of-the-art automotive battery engineering available for the marine market utilizing the technology introduced in the BMW i3 and BMW i8.

"Both Torqeedo and Boating Magazine wanted to figure out a way to help promote the growth of electric outboards – of course Torqeedo is one of the company's on the spear point of that -- so we asked them about doing a boat together and they said they'd love to do it," said Vance. "They asked me if I'd drive the boat and I said I'd love to run it. The team at Torqeedo has been working on the boat for about five months. There's a lot of custom work that they did in here to get the boat ready."

Watch for a feature on this effort in an upcoming issue of Boating Magazine.