A few days ago, Travis Lofland was on his way back to Alaska to go commercial crab fishing on the Cornelia Marie of “Deadliest Catch” reality television series fame. Tomorrow he will join veteran offshore racer Peter Myer in Instigator, a 40-foot Fountain V-bottom with twin 700-hp Scorpion Racing, to compete in the Superboat Extreme class at the Super Boat International National Championships in Clearwater, Fla.
With two weeks before the crab season, Lofland, who drove Instigator three times this season with Meyer throttling—the duo took first place in their class at the SBI event in Sarasota, Fla.—decided just this week to head to Clearwater to “support the team.” He didn’t know if he’d be driving—his position had reportedly gone to another driver who could “pay for the seat”—but he had a hunch it might and he said he wanted to be there regardless. His crab fishing job doesn’t’ start until next Friday, so he had the time.
“I officially found out yesterday afternoon when I came around the corner in the dry pits and saw my name on the boat,” Lofland said, then laughed. “Of course, they had still had ‘maybe’ written on the sticker before they put it on the boat. That just how this team is.”
A minor mechanical issue prevented the team from practicing today. “I was giving Pete a hard time earlier today,” said Lofland. “I told him I didn’t know if I could turn right. I haven’t done it before.”
Lofland heads back to Alaska on Tuesday. He’ll be done crabbing several days before the SBI Key West Offshore World Championships begin in early November. “I’ll be back in time to make the Worlds,” he said, then laughed again. “But they still need to figure out if they want me in the driver’s seat.”