Modern Boating- May 1974
A WEEK before the second half of the Victorian combined inboard and outboard championships at Paynesville, the APBA could have been pardoned for giving the game away. Entries were miserable; there was the magnificent total of nine inboards, for instance. The outboard scene appeared somewhat bigger and brighter, but it certainly looked as if the only thing worth seeing would be the expected clash between the South Australian tunnel hull FuIIa Fun, and the new Victorian boat Super Crumpet.
As it turned out (and as often frequently happens) a rush of late entries made the inboard side of the show look respectable, and the outboards turned on thrills, Spills, and champagne racing. Altogether it was the best Victorian championship meeting we’ve seen, and the best race meeting ever held at Paynesville.
The only real weakness was in the Unlimited Open inboard, where Vulture (John Lewis), the only big hydro present, inherited the title by going through the motions against two of the smaller displacement boats, Klute (John Egar) and Bambi (Bob Graham).
The big runabouts had had a smoking contest in a thrilling (for a while) Unlimited Runabout championship, which went to Joe Cooper’s Mariah (Barry Webb), which was not exactly the fastest boat on the water, but completed the distance with an efficiently functioning motor.
Lewis was playing games in the first heat of the Unlimited Open, but after a good deal of rubbishing from the outboarders during the interval, went out in the second determined to beat the best outboard lap time. He did —but only by one second, which shows how fast the tunnels were going.
The tunnel hull clash had been given a little, excitement by Crumpet Spoiler’s shock defeat of FuIla Fun in Adelaide, and by the arrival of the Jackson brothers’ 17-ft Cesare Scotti hull from Italy. At its first outing at Nagambie the week before, the new Avenger had shown everything she should have shown, the only apparent problem left to solve being the matter of propping her correctly.
The day before the championship, she had been tried with a 1:1 box and l7in prop, and touched the ton on the speedo. However the blades showed signs of laying back, so Bob Jackson switched back, to the much less satisfactory 2:1 box he had used at Nagambie, trying a 25in ~screw this time instead of the 27in.
In the first heat of the Super Sports, Avenger led all, the way from Crumpet Spoiler and Fulla Fun, but Jackson was disqualified for breaking at the start.
In the second heat, scared of breaking again, he missed the start by a mile and trailed the others home, Avenger showing a sluggishness away from the buoys which had characterized her performance at Nagambie. After considerable heart-searching, Jackson changed to the 1:1 box and 17in screw for the Unlimited Unrestricted.
In this he again missed the start by about eight lengths. But when he tramped it Avenger fairly flew, gobbling them up in the short run from the tower to the buoy. Then, as he hooked her in to take the turn, she took off.
Some people say the hull cart wheeled twice. It was certainly vertical twice, once on its tail and once on its nose, where my camera froze the action, just as it went in. How Bob Jackson got out of this is a miracle —as much a miracle as his similar smash in Avenger III early in the season.
He suffered some internal bleeding
and X-rays revealed hairline fractures in five vertebrae, low down in
the spine. After a few days off, he returned to work although he should
have been in a brace. Obviously it will be some time before he can drive
There were easy wins, but did not settle the argument. Bill Beavan weighs a good deal less than Peter Gostelow, and he had quite a problem keeping Crumpet Spoiler’s nose down.The other tunnel-hull to catch the eye was the Jacksons’ old Avenger III, no armed with a standard 150 Merc, and racing for Chris Twikler as Express-Way. She took both the 100 Sports and X Class titles without dropping a heat.