The Lake's continued encouragement for powerboat racing fueled the development for Lake Race 2013, which is an invitational powerboat race held from June 6-9 at Lake of the Ozarks. On Saturday during a special press conference in Osage Beach, the Lake Race 2013 received momentous support from two title sponsors - Mountain Dew and Formula Boats.
"Today we are announcing two major sponsors ... ad now we can officially say, Mountain Dew and Formula Boats present Lake Race 2013," said Manny Haley, Lake Race 2013 media relations coordinator, at Saturday's press conference.
The tremendous support from the community also helped bring back this Offshore Super Series-sanctioned event to heightened new levels since its initial run from 2007-2009. At Saturday's press conference and title sponsor official signing at Formula Boats in Osage Beach, Lake Ozark Mayor Johnnie Franzeskos, Lake Ozark aldermen and city officials and countless Lake Race 2013 committee members, sponsors and community supporters were on hand to celebrate in the continued progress of this event, which will include Lake-wide participation and international acclaim.
"Wow, what a great event this is shaping up to be. Thank you to our new title sponsors, and Mike Shepherd (co-chair for Lake Race 2013) has done an amazing job, along with all our committee members," said Dave Scott, Lake Race 2013 honorary chair and powerboat racer at the press conference.
Lake Race 2013, this event sets the stage for one the most accessible, entertaining and exciting avenues to view top powerboat racing teams from around the globe traverse an on-water course and vie for the top title.
"The Offshore Super Series (OSS) is looking at this event to be a prototype for other races in the U.S. Their main focus is on the Lake Race this year," Haley said. "They want to utilize the way we are organizing it, the way the course is put together and all the components to build an event, for example in Mississippi, Virginia, Florida or California. It will be used as a template."
"That is what is exciting about this event; it is a different style of racing. At the same time, it's an event that we can put on, tweak a bit and grow it larger and larger each year," he added.
According to the Lake Race 2013's website, the Bagnell Dam Strip Association (BDSA), a not-for-profit organization, is the organizing entity for this charitable event, and Beavers at the Dam Bar & Grill is the host facility, which is located on the Historic Bagnell Dam Strip at the zero mile marker by water. In fact, a portion of the proceeds from the Lake Race 2013 will benefit the BDSA, as well as other charities, particularly first responders such as Lake Area fire departments and rescue crews.
"This is a free event," Haley said. "There is not going to be a charge for people to come see it.
Lake Race 2013 committee co-chairs Shepherd of Beaver's at the Dam and BDSA president Jeff Carroll, along with the help of honorary chair and famed powerboat racer Dave Scott and retired racer and course design expert Alvin Heathman, continue to work hard with its 25-member committee to deliver an safe, entertaining event for participants and spectators.
On Sunday, June 9, qualifying race participants will compete in the "big" race, navigating a water-bound course. According to Haley, there are three boat classifications, as well as five Pro-Am classifications for the Lake Race 2013. The PX-Performance Xtreme boat classification (Canopy Class Unlimited) is the highest entry level, seeing many of the country and world's top powerboat racers competing. There is also the Super Vee Lite (Canopy V Bottom) and lowest entry level, Super Stock (Twin Outboard Cat) that are a part of the Lake Race's boat classifications for participants. Then, the five Pro-Am boat classifications break down as follows: Pro-Am 1 (117 mph, top speed); Pro-Am 2 (105 mph, top speed); Pro-Am 3 (95 mph, top speed); Pro-Am 4 (85 mph, top speed); and Pro-Am 5 (75 mph, top speed).
"You'll also see time trials and performance tests for the main racers on Saturday, along with a few other events, too," Haley said. "That is where the OSS comes in handy as the sanctioning body. Under their watchful eye, we pay close attention to the rules, regulations and safety measures they provide to make sure everyone properly qualifies in their classification to participate. We are trying to build the biggest appeal possible, not only to the teams but also to people here at the Lake that want to race on the course, too."
As Haley announced at Saturday's press conference, Lake Race 2013 week will begin Sunday, June 1 with a Volunteer Party at Beaver's at the Dam in Lake Ozark. On Tuesday, June 4, Haley said there is also a potential pontoon event, and full details to be released soon.
"On June 5, there will be a Lake Race 2013 Tribute Party and Benefit Auction at Topsiders in Osage Beach. Famous and legendary racers will be recognized and racer memorabilia will be auctioned off," Haley said during the press conference.
On Thursday and Friday, June 6-7, the Lake Race 2013 committee is planning for race teams who sign up to participate to be involved in a variety of "meet and greet" events held at sponsoring businesses throughout the entire Lake Area. Haley said these events will allow the public to come meet with racers, possible see their boats and generate excitement toward the races over the weekend.
Also on the evening of June 6, the Race Team and Sponsor Party will be held at Beaver's at the Dam. On Friday, June 7, the vendor village will be open to the public and a Lake 2013 Meet and Greet will be on Bagnell Dam Strip.
"There will be early practice runs and course inspections Saturday morning and the first-ever Lake Race 2013 Official Pontoon Boat Race event. We are going to be racing pontoons on the course," Haley said.
Following races on Saturday, Beaver's at the Dam will host musical act Disco Dick and the Mirrorballs, and an awards ceremony and final victory party will round out the event following the big races on Sunday.
As a free event, the Lake Race 2013 course allows a natural setting for spectators to watch all aspects of the course and activities. Haley said a Racer Village and Vendor Village will be set up on the Bagnell Dam Strip, with ample seating and activities at Beaver's during the race as the event's host site. In addition, they hope to allow for VIP seating at Willmore Lodge, which has a panoramic view of the course from its picturesque windows.
"The course is laid out from just off Bagnell Dam all the way up to the 4 mile marker. It creates a natural stadium to watch the event," Haley said. "You have bluffs on both sides, seating at Beaver's, many businesses to view the race up to the 4 mile marker and Willmore Lodge. Basically, we are trying to make this race as accessible as possible to the public for viewing. You can see this event by land and by water."
"This is going to be the most spectator friendly course I have ever been involved with and seen. At other races, you go to the race, see the boats for a little while and then they are gone for several minutes before they come back. Looking at the Lake Race 2013 course, you see those boats non-stop," Scott said. "It is a competitive course where the boats will be going extremely fast in some parts of it. It's pretty incredible."
In addition, the Lake Race 2013 co-chairs, committee and organizers have taken every precaution to make this the safest event possible.
"This event is about safety. This is probably one of the most dangerous forms of motor sports in the world," Haley said. "That is why Dave (Scott) and Alvin (Heathman) got involved. They are taking all the necessary steps to work with the fire departments, highway patrol and hospital, and prepare a safe Lake Race 2013."
The Lake Race committee is working with Ameren Missouri, MoDOT and City of Lake Ozark to potentially open Bagnell Dam to public spectators.
"The historic Bagnell Dam will be open for spectator viewing on Saturday. This will be the first time in 30 years people will be able to stand on Bagnell Dam and watch Lake Race 2013," Haley added. As additional preview Lake Race 2013 socials and events are planned to encourage more community support, Haley said currently the committee and organizers seek race sponsors and volunteers. In addition, many racers have made inquiries, and they also encourage more to participate.
"Right now we are interacting with the community and getting them excited to attend the races," Haley said. "We will need 200-300 volunteers at this event, and we are trying to get as many sponsors as possible."
Haley added that a full list of sponsorship levels and information is available at www.lakerace.com, plus there are many volunteer jobs such as parking, traffic direction, clean up, set up and vendor village assistance that need to be filled.
"The big thing is we are trying to build excitement - get involved and get excited. This event is based on helping everybody at the Lake in one aspect or another. We are planning events on the West Side and the East Side," he said. "Take the spirit of cooperation and continue to build on it. So many things here have started so small, and grown and grown and grown because the community worked together. We hope this event is going to be another example of that."
For more information about sponsoring the Lake Race 2013, call Mark Dickey at 573-216-0104. For more information about volunteering, call Wendy White at the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce at 573-964-1008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information about the Lake Race 2013, call Mike Shepherd at 573-434-0611, email email@example.com or visit www.lakerace.com.