With the Stihl and Broadco catamarans duking it out all season in the Super Boat International‘s Superboat class, it’s no surprise that the national championship in the category came down to a battle between the two teams in Clearwater, Fla., on Sunday. In the end, Stihl owner/driver J.R. Noble and throttleman Mark Kowalski prevailed in a race that saw the Spirit of Qatar 20 team of Qatari driver Ali Al-Neama and American throttleman Billy Moore take the lead early but roll on the second lap. Neither Al-Neama nor Moore were injured in the crash, but their catamaran reportedly sustained significant damage.
Sthil battled Broadco earlier today to take the Superboat-class national championship. Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“We all got kind of a funny start, ” said Noble, whose son, Jake, raced with Ryan Beckley today (read the story) in Stock class and earned a third-place finish in his rookie debut. “I couldn’t even see the paceboat when we started. After Qatar rolled, it was a door-to-door dogfight between us and Broadco all day.
“And now we have another boat racing addict in the family,” Noble added, referring to his son’s efforts in the outboard-powered cat class.
Broadco driver/owner Chuck Broaddus and throttleman Grant Bruggemann chased hard today, but spun out on the final turn of the last lap. “We broke off both skegs, but we made it to the finish,” Bruggemann said.
In Stock class, one of this SBI season’s hardest-fought categories, The Hulk/Redline Oil team of throttleman Daniel Lawrence and driver/owner Robert Nunziato lead from start to finish. The Hulk team has taken the national title in two of the past three years.
The Hulk/Redline Oil lead from wire to wire today to take the Stock class national title.
“The boat was set up perfectly—it was a perfectly executed race for the hulk team today,” Lawrence said. “We’re carrying great speed into and out of the corners.”
Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and British throttleman Steve Curtis had planned to run Spirit of Qatar 613 in the Superboat Unlimited class and renew their rivalry with driver Marc Granet and throttleman Scott Begovich in Miss GEICO. But technical problems plagued the team after testing and 613 was not able to take the start. That left Begovich and Granet to take the win over the SilverHook/Lucas Oil V-bottom in the Unlimited class. However, Silverhook/Lucas Oil claimed the Unlimited-class national championship.
Editor’s note: Look for the complete results of the Clearwater Super Boat National Championship on speedonthewater.com when they become available.
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