The Sporting Globe, Sat., Feb. 1, 1975 - Page 17

John's Great Comeback

When John Lewis, limp and unconscious, was carried from the water after a bad smash on Griffith Cup day, 1971, nobody believed that he would ever race again.

But he recovered from serious injuries, and raced his runabout, Vulture, at Albert Park six months later – only to be carried ashore unconscious again, after another smash.

Nobody could come back after that.

But John Lewis did. And last Sunday, on Lake Eppalock he won the greatest race in the sport, the E. C. Griffith Cup.

After missing a whole season through injury, he came back early in the 1972-73 season. It took him more than a year’s hard racing to recover his touch, and his nerve.

Last Sunday, the bigger, faster boats broke down, and Vulture, which does little more than 100 mph, kept going.

Lewis had an edge in speed over the three runabouts, left of the big field, after two gruelling heats in rough water.

He drove a masterly race to establish a lead of 50 metres over Chevvy believing it to be the finish of the race.

But it was only the end of the second-last lap.

As Vulture pulled into the centre of the course Chevvy shot past. Realising his mistake Lewis gunned the hydroplane desperately in pursuit and caught Chevvy on the line to win by three seconds.

With this victory Lewis now holds the Australasian unlimited open championship, the Australian unlimited open, unlimited hydroplane, and the 400 cubic inch open championships, as well as his state unlimited open title.

He has achieved this remarkable record by his sportsmanship, willingness to tackle bigger and faster boats and love of the sport.

1975. ‘John’s Great Comeback,’ The Sporting Globe, Sat., Feb. 1, p. 17.