Taking “some time off” from crab fishing in the Bering Sea this year, Travis Lofland—the former Time Bandit deckhand featured on the Discovery Channel’s popular “Deadliest Catch” television series—is teaming up with veteran offshore racer Peter Meyer this season in the Instigator Fountain V-bottom raceboat. With Lofland driving and Meyer throttling, the team plans to run the Superboat Extreme-class 40-footer, which is powered by twin 700-plus-hp naturally aspirated Scorpion Racing engines at Super Boat International events in Cocoa Beach, Fla., Sarasota, Fla., New York City and Key West, Fla.
“This will be my first time driving in a race,” said Lofland, who formerly throttled the Time Bandit Super V Light raceboat. “I’m used to throttling, but I did drive during testing in Time Bandit and every time I did I thought it made me a better throttleman.
“Peter has 30 years of racing experience so this is going to be fun,” he continued. “It’s going to be challenging jumping from the throttling side to the driving side, but I’m very confident with Peter.”
Meyer said that while he had planned to retire at the end of the 2012, having Lofland, who currently lives in Sarasota, in the cockpit with him has renewed his interest in racing for at least one more season.
“My family and I were on vacation in Sarasota and Travis and I talked about doing something together,” said Meyer. “I figured I’d bring Travis in to see if we could add a little entertainment to it.
“He’s got to be able to drive—he’s got to be able to take what’s dished out,” Meyer added. “But I figure anybody who can fall into the ice water (Lofland took a terrifying plunge into the water at the docks during an episode of “Deadliest Catch” last season) and go out into those seas has to be pretty tough.”
The Superboat Extreme class consists of twin-engine V-bottoms and catamarans, though most of the entries are V-hulls, from 36 to 44 feet long. Because the class is GPS-bracketed to a top speed of 117 mph, there are no horsepower restrictions or requirements for the raceboats. For Lofland, however, the racing will be much faster that the low-90-mph speeds he ran in Super V Light.
“I’m confident jumping in with Peter,” he said. “We want to run hard with the competition and get involved with the community at the race sites. We want to leave with everyone saying, ‘Those guys were a lot of fun, very cool, and they ran the boat hard.”