Jul 18, 2016

Raising the Bar: Highlights from the Waves and Wheels Shootout on the Strip

Although it was completely self-imposed, the pressure was on to put together a memorable evening for all of the boaters bringing their hardware to the revitalized Lake of the Ozarks Shootout street party—dubbed the Shootout on the Strip thanks to its move back to the Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark, Mo.—as well as for the spectators storming the street on Wednesday night to check out the impressive showcase featuring nearly 100 performance boats.

Yet Justin Wagner, the owner of Waves and Wheels in Osage Beach, Mo., who sponsored the Shootout on the Strip and was a driving force behind hyping up the event, was as cool as ever. Well so it appeared from the outside. Wagner helped coordinate the event with Mark and Tiffany Maasen (of Poly-Lift Boat Lifts) and Jeff Carroll, which was a lot of work in itself. He also helped bring the party as he lined up Rusty Rahm’s new 52-foot MTI catamaran to the left and Derek Wachob’s 52-foot Black Diamond MTI to the right and tied both of the boats’ outrageous sound systems to the DJ spinning on the deck of his 46-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran in between.

On the inside Wagner was like a kid on Christmas Day. And why not, he’s been keeping the design of his company’s next project boat under wraps for some time and Wednesday was the day he was finally going to let the boating community know what he has in store.

“The whole show was amazing, I’m still trying to wrap my head around it,” said Wagner over a couple of pizzas several hours after the Shootout on the Strip ended and he was getting ready to ice his sore ankle and catch a few hours of sleep before heading to Thursday’s Wishing on a Ride charity boat rides at Captain Ron’s. “I honestly had goose bumps when I unveiled Project Transformers from the deck of the Skater. I’m excited and a little relieved to finally be able to talk about the design we’ve been working on for the last couple of months.”

Wagner said he’s going to start working on the 46-footer, Optimus Prime, at the end of September and he’s hoping to have the project complete in time for next year’s Shootout, although it may take longer depending on how busy the shop is with customers’ boats.

With several partners already lined up to assist with the Project Transformers build, Wagner said he has some cool ideas for the Skater, which was one of many models built by Douglas Marine in Michigan that was on display Wednesday night.

Between the Skaters, MTIs and DCBs not to mention the models from Outerlimits, Mystic and Cigarette, Wagner was blown away by the turnout of boaters from all over the country not just locally.

And he had every reason to be, as he told me his goal was to host the biggest performance boat street party in the country. Whether he did that or not isn’t important. What’s important is that he was a catalyst in an event that appears to have some staying power thanks to its new location.


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