It’s been a busy summer already for John Tomlinson, the multi-time offshore powerboat racing world champion and co-owner of TNT Custom Marine in North Miami. Fresh from throttling the 39-foot-long Marine Technology, Inc., racing catamaran CRC with owner Mike Defrees behind the wheel in the Super Cat class of the Offshore Super Series season-opener May 20-23 in Biloxi, Miss., Tomlinson headed for the Bimini Ocean Challenge on June 12 to throttle the new 50-foot-long catamaran from Statement Marine. Driving the cat, which was powered by a pair of 1,450-hp T-53 turbine engines, was Todd Werner, the owner of Statement Marine.
“We were the first pleasure boat to finish,” said Tomlinson. “We did the run in 58 minutes. It was little bumpier than last year, but not bad.
“It ran good, right out of the box,” Tomlinson added. “Like everything brand new, it needs a little fine tuning. But it ran good.”
That represented a big step forward from the previous time Tomlinson and Werner ran the 50-footer, though the improvement in performance had nothing to do with the catamaran itself. A week before, they took the cat to the Jacksonville River Rally Poker Run. A mechanical issue knocked them out of the run early.
“We threw a propeller blade about three minutes into it,” said Tomlinson. “With this kind of power, you just can’t run cast propellers and expect them to last. Now we have a pair of Five Axis props, and they’re fine.”
Next up for Tomlinson, who reported that his business has picked this month? He’ll run with Defrees again in the CRC cat at the July 4 weekend Super Boat International event in Sarasota, Fla.