Shootout courses in 2017 are likely to be shortened across the board, if recent developments spread. Captain Ron Duggan of the LOTO Shootout and Ken & Linda Little of the GLOC Performance Boat Challenge have confirmed that their courses will be shortened to 3/4 of a mile for safety reasons.“
There has obviously been some concern about speed events and the amount of horsepower being put into boats,” Duggan told Speedboat. “We want to take a proactive step in this and prevent accidents from happening.”
Duggan said that most Shootout-related accidents around the country occur after the 3/4 mile point.
“We’ve only had a couple of incidents here at the Shootout,” Duggan said, “but we want ensure the safety of all our participants. We want to make sure everybody is going home safe to their families.”
He added that LOTO would be freezing all of the records that have been in the books for the last 28 years of the Shootout, while establishing new records for the new course beginning in 2017.Linda Little of GLOC told Speedboat that her team had worked closely with Duggan to establish what she hopes will be a new industry standard. “The shootouts don’t have a sanctioning body,” she said. “So we have to police ourselves.”
Little said that she hoped that Desert Storm and the Texas Outlaw Challenge would join LOTO and GLOC in moving toward a shorter course.“
We tried the shorter course during our first year, in 2015, but we were boycotted,” she said. “But boats are just getting faster and faster. We have to do something.”