Veteran offshore racing throttleman John Tomlinson will throttle the Performance Boat Center team’s Superboat-class raceboat this season for at least five Super Boat International races. Tomlinson will be joined in the Skater Powerboats 388 catamaran, which is powered by twin 750-hp Sterling Performance engines, by driver Myrick Coil, who throttled the boat last year at the SBI World Championships in Key West, Fla., for the Osage Beach, Mo., powerboat/yacht dealership and full service and storage center serving the Lake of the Ozarks area.
“If there is a conflict with my (Union Internationale Motonautique) Class 1 commitment, that comes first and they agreed to that,” said Tomlinson, who co-owns TNT Custom Marine in Miami with Mike Thomas. “But I am going to throttle the boat for Performance Boat Center, and Myrick is going to drive it.”
Said Performance Boat Center’s Brett Manire, “I never thought I’d be involved with an offshore powerboat racing team with Myrick Coil and John Tomlinson.” Photo courtesy Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
When Performance Boat Center ordered a 38-foot raceboat from Douglas Marine/Skater during the 2015 Miami International Boat Show, Coil approached Tomlinson to throttle for the team. But Tomlinson already was committed to Bob Bull’s Unlimited-class CMS outfit, which took national and world titles last year. Before committing to the Performance Boat Center crew, Tomlinson checked with the CMS team, which plans to run a more-limited schedule this year. According to the throttling ace, he got the green light to run with the Superboat-class Performance Boat Center outfit while continuing with the Abu Dhabi Class 1 team—last year’s world champion—with Gary Ballough in a Marine Technology Inc. catamaran.
“I’m pumped—it’s like the good old days when I raced a few times in Supercat in Dave’s Scott’s Bacardi Silver boat with Johnny,” said Coil, who has been working on the Performance Boat Center cat at the Skater facility in Douglas, Mich. “I called Johnny a year ago, but he couldn’t commit.”
Coil said he has no issue swapping seats with the legendary throttleman. “I have throttled a few boats, but I am no Johnny Tomlinson,” he said.
Lance Sutton, who drove for the team in Key West, will stay with the group in a support and backup role. “He’s still very much part of our team,” Coil said.
Tomlinson said he’s looking forward to competing in the Superboat ranks. The last time he ran in a similar class was in the Super Cat category with Hugh Fuller in 2007.
“You have a good fleet of evenly matched teams in Superboat class, and if you want to do well you have to run,” he said. “It’s like Class 1—you have to run hard all the time, there’s no taking a break. You have to be on your game to do well.
“I’m sure there will be a learning curve, but we’re starting with a clean slate,” he added. “Myrick said he’s been working on the boat this winter and has it running faster than it did in Key West.”
Coil and Tomlinson will race in SBI’s season-opener May 14-16 in Cocoa Beach, Fla. While they’re hoping to get in at least one practice session prior to climbing into the cockpit together, there’s no guarantee. Regardless, the cockpit duo, as well as their Performance Boat Center backers Brett Manire and Mark Waddington, are eager to start the season.
“Performance Boat Center always likes to be tied to key people in the marine industry, and it doesn’t get any better than John Tomlinson and TNT Custom Marine,” Coil said. “I was up at Skater this week working on the boat, and (Skater owner) Pete Hledin and everyone else couldn’t have been more helpful. It’s headed for the paint booth here now and I’ll be back in the boat on Monday.”
“I’m super-excited,” Manire said. “I never thought I’d be involved with an offshore powerboat racing team with Myrick Coil and John Tomlinson.”
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