Written by: Robert StephensStep Inside the high octane world of performance-sport-go-fast-power pontoons
Of all the boisterous weekends at notoriously boisterous Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri, this one out-louds them all. Rumbles bounce off the high rock walls on both sides of the water, emanating from Bajas and Fountains and Checkmates and Eliminators muscling one at a time down a straight-line race course. It’s as if they’re pleading for attention from the 30,000 spectators at the annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, billed as the largest unsanctioned boat race in the United States. Then the noise softens. A 28-foot Powertoon Xtreme with a 430-horse MerCruiser 8.2-liter Magnum HO eases toward the course’s threshold, not exactly a greyhound behind the gate, but more of an unusually athletic Saint Bernard. A pontoon! Instead of performance-style bolsters and chicken straps on board, there are couches and drink holders - lots of them. At the helm, 60-year-old Carolyn Dorris, wife of PlayCraft founder Jim Dorris, massages the throttle. The spectators have turned their eyes in unison to watch. This is what they’ve been waiting for.
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