In the spotlight for his rookie offshore racing season, the STIHL team’s Jake Noble delivered a performance that would have made his late father proud. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Less than a year ago, Jake Noble was mourning the tragic sudden death of his father, Robert “J.R.” Noble, the 58-year-old leader of the Superboat-class STIHL team and one of offshore racing’s greatest benefactors. Devastated by the loss of the man he considered to be his best friend, Jake Noble wasn’t thinking about climbing into the team’s new 38-foot Skater raceboat and impressing the hell out of the entire offshore racing community—in a tribute to his father—during his rookie season.
But that’s exactly what happened when the 29-year-old Noble joined with veteran throttleman Grant Bruggemann this season on the Super Boat International circuit. Noble and Bruggemann didn’t run casual, non-competitive laps in a tribute tour to the man they both loved, the guy who brought them both into the STIHL offshore racing family. They raced hard, earning one second-place and three third-place finishes in offshore racing’s most competitive class.
And against the likes of WHM Motorsports’ Billy Mauff and Jay Muller and Performance Boat Center’s John Tomlinson and Myrick Coil, they took third-place overall at last week’s three-race Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla.