As the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) F1 H2O World Championship heads to Brazil for the first time in 30 seasons…More...
Bucking at least a six-year industry trend of declining offshore racing engine business, Scorpion Racing Engines has seen a surge in demand for offshore racing power this season. That’s the word from Frank McComas, who co-owns the Livonia, Mich.-based high-performance marine and auto racing engine shop with Mark Pritula.
In addition to long-term offshore racing engine clients including the Instigator and Cleveland Construction teams, McComas has added several new teams including Broadco, Stihl and Qatar to his customer list this year.
On any given weekend you’ll find Christopher Kuster at the historic Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks completing his next work of art and showing off his latest paintings, many of which capture the essence of the Florida coast in vibrant watercolor and oil. You’ll also find a good mix of cartoonish art featuring hot rods and powerboats—two of Kuster’s favorite things.
As you can see from the included examples of his artwork, the self-proclaimed horsepower junkie offers a fresh, fun perspective on gas-guzzling machines. What you can’t see in the art—the fact that Kuster is a quadriplegic who paints with his mouth—is even more impressive. Yes, he uses his mouth to draw and paint. Just don’t make the mistake of saying to him, “Wow, I couldn’t even do that with my hands,” because—as he told me—if he had a dollar for every time he’d heard that, he’d be a rich man.
Instead he’ll settle for being the “Paint by Teeth” man. A member of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA), an organization owned and run by disabled artists with European roots dating back to the 1950s, Kuster is a C5 quadriplegic who was injured in a shallow water diving accident in 1992—just two weeks before his 22nd birthday. He started painting more than 10 years ago and more recently, as in the past few years, he began the motorsports endeavor, Motor Mouth Studios.
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.”
After seven or eight trips—they’re not exactly sure how many—to Desert Storm, Dan and Lisa Ellis had done most every legal thing there was to do at the annual Lake Havasu, Ariz.-based event. From the Thursday Street Party, where they had displayed their immaculate 2008 Cigarette 38’ Top Gun, to the Friday Poker Run and more recently the Saturday fun run to Pirate Cove, the couple from Ventura, Calif., thought they had covered it all.
And they were just fine with coming back year after to do it all again. That’s because Dan and Lisa Ellis flat out love high-performance powerboating. After buying their 38-footer from Miami-based Lip-Ship Performance in 2011, they left the boat in South Florida for a few months and made two trips to the Keys.
(Above photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.)
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