With their second-place finish at the Super Boat International National Championships in Clearwater, Fla., earlier this month, the Superboat-class STIHL cockpit duo of throttleman Grant Bruggemann and driver Jake Noble are as—or more—confident as they’ve ever been heading next month’s the SBI World Championships in Key West, Fla. For the second year in a row, they finished third in national championship points behind Performance Boat Center/Jimmy John’s and WHM Motorsports.

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With its Sterling Performance engine program dialed in, the STIHL team is ready to claim first place overall at the upcoming three-race SBI Offshore World Championships in Key West. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

But that’s not what has Bruggemann and Noble, who run a Skater Powerboats 388 catamaran powered by twin 750-hp Sterling Performance engines, more ready than ever to make a run at the world title.

“Before Clearwater, we got two new engines from Sterling and they are fantastic,” said Bruggemann, who has been with the STIHL team for 10 years. “Sterling rebuilt our other set of engines, so now we have four fresh engines heading into Key West.

“Mike D’Anniballe and his wife, Connie, are the first people in our trailer after racing or testing,” he continued. “I give them my feedback. Mike makes adjustments—he doesn’t tell me what he’s doing, he just says, ‘OK, now go try them.’”

In finale of Noble’s rookie season, the STIHL team finished third overall in the 2016 SBI Key West Worlds. While Bruggemann was pleased with that result last year, he said he’d be disappointed with it this time around.

“Heading into Key West, we have a great combination that really works now with Jake and me in the boat, our setup and our engine program,” he said. "We're ready to make a run at the world championship."

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