IN 1971 GRIFFITH CUP
THE Griffith Cup remains with Victoria for another year. Stampede, not seriously threatened in either of her heats, comfortably won for the second consecutive year.
Tommy Watt’s Exciter staggered everyone, with its tremendous speed in the first elimination heat to be well in front at the end of 2½ laps, when she petered out. Tommy Watt had forgotten to change fuel tanks.
Aggressor (David Tenny) then took the lead and showed great potential but, with very little racing over the last 18 months, Tenny was driving below peak form.
Ernie Nunn’s Wasp Too driven by Des Radburn beat Jo-Blo (Jack Bullen) for second place. Jo Blo, always in the disturbed water of the leading boats, was a handful for Jack Bullen and he never really got her going at her max.
In the fourth lap, Canberra’s Yogi Bear (John Pearson) created some excitement when her prop shaft loosened, and the prop jammed against the rudder making her flip. This caused a 20-minute delay before the start of Heat 2. New Zealand’s Voodoo IV (Bill Stokes) finished fifth in this heat.
Stampede led from start to finish in the second elimination. With Bob Saniga driving she was never seriously threatened.
Assassin (Trevor Matthews) split a sponson and, although she finished in second place ahead of Redline (Peter Wade) she could not start in the final.
Once again the New Zealand entries were a disappointment with Air New Zealand (John McGregor) blowing up at the start, and Slipray (Ern Baynton) retiring after 1½ laps.
In the final, Stampede, this time driven by Stan Jones, hit the front soon after the start. Then Aggressor stunned everyone with her speed and began nailing Stampede back.
But by the fourth lap it was all over. Aggressor blew a water hose and left Redline to get into second ahead of Wasp Too and Vulture (John Lewis) who found the water too flat.
Sensation of meeting was the
last race of the day—an Unlimited Open. John Lewis driving Vulture
in the middle of the fleet suddenly hit a bad wash and was dumped out.
Lewis was less fortunate. He had four broken ribs, a gashed head and minor spinal injuries. After a week in Bendigo Hospital, he has been discharged and should soon be about again.