Jeff Hoefling and Audra Meyer grew up less than a mile from each another in Evansville, Ind., where they still live and work. But until eight years ago they’d never met. Now, they’re inseparable and among the most welcoming, instantly likable couples you’ll meet in the go-fast boating world. Hoefling, who owns Lively Machine Company, and Meyer, who works in financial services for Merrill-Lynch, help organize the annual Kuttawa Cannonball Run in Kentucky alongside their friends, Terry and Melanie Martin, and renowned boat painter Stephen Miles and his wife, Heather.
With his girlfriend, Audra Meyer, by his side, Indiana performance boater Jeff Hoefling enjoyed driving the Outerlimits 39 GTX he purchased in November 2021 at the Thunder Run on Kentucky’s Lake Cumberland. Photo from the 2022 Kuttawa Cannonball Run by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
And they’ve helped it grow from a small, grassroots happening to a major event that
saw 180 registrations last year and attracted participants from around the country.
Early this year, Hoefling sold his beloved 42-foot Fountain V-bottom painted by Miles and purchased a 2009 Outerlimits 39 GTX powered by a pair of supercharged 1,200-hp engines from Mercury Racing. Since the Kuttawa Cannonball Run in early June, the boat has been a fixture on Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. And the couple plans to run the heck out of it all summer.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY ON THE WATER.
Audra: We’re both adrenaline junkies, so we consider ourselves boaters, not floaters (laughs). We’re not the kind of people who are going to find a quiet cove and tie up all day. We like to run for a couple of hours and then find our friends around lunch time, then maybe go to that cove. We normally don’t get back until dark. We have a great little crew at the lake and I truly feel that boating is my therapy.
Jeff: For me, a perfect day on the water starts with breakfast at the marina followed by washing the boat—washing the boat is part of my therapy (laughs). When Audra comes down to the dock, we jump in and go. The best weekend also means not having any boat problems. To enjoy the entire feature, subscribe to Speed On The Water digital magazine and download the latest issue.