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Image Gallery: Celebrating STIHL

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With the death of Robert “J.R.” Noble (left with teammate Grant Bruggemann) offshore racing lost a great man—and one of its greatest assets. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Like offshore powerboat racing fans around the world, we were shocked and saddened by today’s news of the passing of Robert “J.R.” Noble. Not surprisingly, official details on the death of the 58-year-old owner and driver of the Super Boat International Superboat-class STIHL team remain scarce. But one thing is certain regardless: Noble wasn’t just the driving force behind the class, he was the spear-tip for the entire sport.

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A slideshow celebration of STIHL from the 2014-2015 SBI offshore racing seasons. Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden, Erick Bryner, Jeff Helmkamp and Jay Nichols.

Two weeks from going live, the next bi-monthly Speed On The Water digital magazine will include a profile on the man of STIHL who was beloved in the offshore racing community. In the meantime, we’ve assembled the slideshow above of the STIHL Skater 388 catamaran in action—and one picture of Noble with his close friend, throttleman and rigger Grant Bruggemann during a recent fitting session for the team’s new Skater cat—from photographers Pete Boden, Erick Bryner, Jeff Helmkamp and Jay Nichols.

We offer our heartfelt condolences to the Noble family and all of their friends, as well as the entire offshore racing community. Robert “J.R.” Noble cannot be replaced, but he can be remembered and honored.

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