After an offshore powerboat racing career spanning more than three decades, Peter Meyer of team Instigator fame is hanging up his fingerless racing gloves. The veteran multi-time world champion, whose Instigator/AMH Construction team most recently earned Super Boat International Extreme-class world titles in 2016 and 2017 in his well-known Fountain V-bottom, announced his departure in a press release today.
During the 2018 SBI season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla., Instigator/AMH Construction flew to victory. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
This is the third time Meyer has exited the sport, but this time around he intends to make it stick, he said.
“It’s so hard to do,” he said. “The first time around was to make my wife happy, you know, ‘Happy life, happy wife.’ The second time my daughter was heading to college and I wanted to make sure that her education was a priority. However, where there is a will there is a way and I still managed to get in a few races.”
A few years ago, health complications forced the popular racer to exit the boat, but he still managed to fill its cockpit with drivers and throttleman. The team’s most recent driver and backer was Aaron Hope of AMH Construction, who has since moved on to run a Skater Powerboats 388 catamaran called AMH Motorsports with throttleman Anthony Smith, the son of Offshore Powerboat Association head Ed “Smitty” Smith.
That connection will continue, as Anthony Smith will run the Fountain as Instigator By Knucklehead Racing with former Cleveland Construction team member Ed Smith, who has the same name as OPA leader but is not related to him. Ed Smith purchased the V-bottom from Meyer and plans to debut the boat under its new name during the American Power Boat Association season-opener May 17-19 in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
Peter Meyer (left) and new Instigator owner Ed Smith.
“In my opinion, Instigator probably was the best Fountain to come out of the factory while it was under the leadership of Reggie Fountain,” said Meyer. “Reggie was a genius and he worked with me to tweak the boat so it was just the way I wanted it. I’ve had a great run but it is time.
“But just to be clear again, I am retiring but the boat is not,” he added. “It’s time to pass the baton. I have known Ed for many years and he is a true racer and gentleman.”
“I can’t wait until the competition begins,” said Ed Smith, who will drive the boat with Anthony Smith handling the throttles. “Going from a cat to a V-bottom should not take long to master. “
Meyer and Smith said they are expecting increased competition in the big V-bottom ranks. Brit Lilly of LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness, which claimed SBI Superboat V-class world championship in 2016 and 2017, and Kevin Smith will field a boat in the class this year, and at least two other teams reportedly will join the fray for the APBA series. (Speedonthewater.com could not confirm the participation plans of additional teams when this story went live.)
“We couldn’t be more excited to see the next chapter begin for Instigator,” said Ed Smith. “We hope all of our fans and sponsors will continue to cheer on the Instigator By Knucklehead Racing team.”