Missouri Crew to Establish Lake of the Ozarks ‘Dam Challenge’ Record

Editor’s note: The team left the docks at Beavers at the Dam at 10:15 local time. You can follow its efforts via GPS here.

Several Missouri performance-boating enthusiasts are setting out early this morning (Sept. 20) to establish the record for the newly created “Dam Challenge” on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks.

damchallenge skater

Missouri’s Tristan Collins, who ran the 399 Skater V-bottom at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout a few weeks ago, will help drive the boat in Saturday’s Dam Challenge on the lake. Photo by Jay Nichols/Naples Image

Sponsored by Performance Boat Center and Beavers at the Dam, the 188-mile roundtrip endurance run from Bagnell Dam to Truman Dam will be logged in the Lake Ozark Timing Association record book once the crew in the 399 Skater V-bottom return to Bagnell Dam on the east side of the lake.

The team, which includes Tyson Garvin (Joplin), Tristan Collins (Joplin), Andy Sanders (Osage Beach), Michael Donahue (Warsaw) and Shane Sherman (Lake Ozark), will attempt the run in the 39-footer that is powered by a pair of 480-hp Cummins diesel engines connected with Arneson ASD8 surface drives. The boat is the same one Garvin and Chris Fertig used to break the 780-plus-mile Bermuda Challenge from New York to Bermuda last fall.

damchallenge map

“We’re excited about the Dam Challenge,” said Sherman, who is splitting driving duties with Collins while Garvin handles the throttles during the run. “We’re doing a Le-Mans-style start where one crewmember must ring the bell on the docks of Beavers at the Dam to start the official clocks before running to the boat to depart. Someone will physically need to leave the boat at the Truman Dam courtesy dock before returning to the finish. It’s kind of fun—we’re trying to take a few things from various events and make this record run one of a kind.

“We decided to bring Andy and Michael with us on the run,” he continued. “Michael’s knowledge of the narrow, shallow waterways of the upper mile markers will help us reach the Truman Dam safely, and Andy is a service technician at Performance Boat Center who can help handle any mechanical issues as well as verify the integrity of the record. After this, we’re expecting other people to attempt to set a record for other classes such as pontoons, personal watercraft and more.”

Sherman described the Dam Challenge as a grassroots attempt to establish an event for Lake of the Ozarks that Lake Ozark Timing Association, Performance Boat Center and Beaver’s at the Dam hopes to grow in years to come. For more information on a record attempt of your own and a description of the rules and classes, contact Sherman at rssnlo@gmail.com.