The sudden and tragic death of well-known and widely respected offshore racer Robert “J.R.” Noble, the owner of the STIHL team, on March 8 temporarily sidelined the transaction and subsequent announcement. But now, according to a news release on the Gone Again team’s Facebook page and confirmed though an interview this afternoon with Mungle, the deal is complete.
If Mungle’s current plans hold, he’ll campaign the former STIHL catamaran in his first offshore races this season. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“I wanted to give the family time,” said Mungle. “The deal has been pretty much done for a week and a half—the title gets sent off today—but I didn’t want to make a big to-do about it because of the situation. But now it’s a done deal, it’s our boat. I’d like to pick up the boat next week, and hopefully Grant (Bruggemann, the STIHL team’s throttleman and rigger) can take me out for a tutorial. I’d actually like to hire him to teach me how to run the boat.”
Mungle and Lockwood will run the team’s 32-foot Skater catamaran powered by 1,500-plus-hp supercharged Sterling engines in shootouts this year, but according to the release will display the Skater 388 cat at all top-speed events they plan to attend. As for what will happen with the 38-foot catamaran on the water this year and next, Mungle has broader ideas.
“Our plan is to actually campaign the boat this year as a real offshore raceboat,” said Mungle. “We want to do a couple of smooth-water Super Boat International and Offshore Powerboat Association events—I have a bad back so I can’t do the rough-water races.
“We’ll probably make the 388 into a shootout boat for 2017, unless I fall in love with racing, which is what everybody has told me is going to happen,” he continued, then laughed. “We’ll see how I feel after I make a few starts. Whatever I do, I am going to try to carry on the STIHL name on the boat.”