Beyond the Race with Carrie Sixkiller
Carrie J Sixkiller, a name as unique as her story. Born and raised in the heart of Oklahoma, her love for the water was ingrained in her very soul. But it wasn't until she ventured into the Kansas waters of Lake Perry in 2000 that her boating journey truly began.
It was that summer an unforgettable chapter in her life unfolded. With three spirited girlfriends, she embarked on a nautical adventure aboard "The Chick Boat," a charmingly sluggish 1965 30ft Kayot pontoon houseboat. While it could barely break 10 mph at full throttle, this boat carried with it a spirit of independence and "Girl Power." The Cowgirls, as they affectionately called themselves, didn't shy away from tackling any challenge that came their way. If a task needed doing on the boat, they did it together. One unforgettable incident involved a steering failure. In a comical yet courageous moment, Carrie manually steered the outboard engine with her bare hands, while her friends shouted instructions from the deck. These were the moments that forged lifelong memories.
It was on this very boat that Carrie's life took a romantic turn. At the lake, she crossed paths with Ron, a man who would later become her fiancé when he proposed in that very same spot years later.
Time flowed, and "The Chick Boat" found a new home, but the passion for boating remained. One of The Cowgirls was dating a firefighter and offshore racer known as Mike "Gordo" Gordon, a man deeply immersed in the world of boats. They began attending the Lake Rescue Shootout to witness Gordo's thrilling races. It was here that Carrie's dream was born - to be a part of this exhilarating event. The search for the perfect boat commenced, and it was Gordo who helped them find "B-Nauti," a 1993 24ft Baja Outlaw. Under Gordo's guidance, Carrie and Ron became true boat enthusiasts, learning every aspect of their vessel, from engine work to designing custom decals.
Years passed, and the Shootout remained a constant in their lives. Ron, her biggest supporter, eventually encouraged Carrie to take the wheel herself. Gordo, the mentor, shared his vast knowledge, teaching her how to race with precision. This marked the beginning of her racing journey.
Over 16 years, she participated in the Shootout, an accomplishment in itself. Carrie's dedication earned her a place in the 2017 Bob Morgan Memorial Hall of Fame, an honor that still brings tears to her eyes when mentioned. Winning her class was not an annual guarantee, but it didn't deter her. For Carrie, the true victory lay in being part of something that helped so many people. In total, she triumphed in her class an impressive 12 times in 16 years.
Her best time on the 1-mile course stood at an astonishing 79 mph, while last year, she set a new record at 73 mph on the 3/4 mile course, a feat she had tirelessly pursued.
Beyond the race course, Carrie's life is a colorful tapestry. By day, she's a Finance Specialist at a major engineering firm, a world away from the roar of boat engines. When she's not tinkering with her beloved "B-Nauti," you might find her nurturing a garden designed to support the Monarch Butterfly population, cruising the open road on a motorcycle with her husband, or immersed in crafting and antiquing. In 2020, she and Ron remodeled an older motorhome, fondly named "Betty White," which became their vehicle of adventure.
But there's more to Carrie than her many interests. She's a staunch advocate for Women in Racing at the Shootout, tirelessly promoting the idea that little girls and women can achieve anything they set their minds to, even running solo in the Shootout. Currently, she's working on her own brand to encourage more women to embrace the world of boating.
Carrie J Sixkiller’s story is one of passion, perseverance, and empowerment. Her life, like her boat, is a testament to the boundless potential that lies within when one sets their mind to it.
Carrie, Ozark Powerboat Club thanks you for all you do for this industry. We are beyond proud to call you our friend.
Thanks for being down with OPC!