THE JACKSON BROTHERS
|SPEEDMAN BEHIND THE WHEEL|
two bad smashes, the future of Bob Jackson, whose name has become a byword
in Victorian outboard racing circles, is very much in the balance.
Then, having only his second
outing in his new boat, a l7ft Cesare Scotti tunnel-hull only recently
arrived from Italy, the same thing happened in the Victorian unlimited
unrestricted championship at Paynesville on February 24.
So fast did ‘Avenger’ accelerate that he was right up to them by the time they steadied to take the buoy. But, as he hooked the boat around to take the turn, it left the water, kited, and somersaulted twice.
Once again, Jackson was picked
up by the crash boat, badly shaken but relatively unhurt, except from
internal bruising. But what has the experience of two bad smashes, one
on top of the other, done to his nerve?
A line could possibly be taken
from the case of John Lewis, one of the most promising young stars of
the 1970-71racing season, in his inboard runabout ‘Vulture’.
It could well be that Bob Jackson
is now facing a similar long, hard road back.
On the racing circuit, as in
business, the brothers show a flair for complementing each other. Their
most important win, the 1971 Eppalock Four Hours in ‘Avenger Too’,
was a case in point.
In outboard racing, the Jackson
brothers’ record is formidable; so formidable that, at one stage
some years ago, it was argued that Bob Jackson’s dominance in particular,
was killing the sport.
Bob had a little hydroplane,
called ‘Starflyte’, powered with an Anzani motor. Within two
years, he had captured both the Victorian and Australian championships.
Then the era of the tunnel-hull began.
Bob Jackson got back into the
same with a Little Nipper type tunnel-hull, powered with a 6Ohp Evinrude,
called ‘Avenger’, which he drove with success in the Torrumbarry
For years, OMC, content to produce
rugged, reliable Johnson and Evinrudes for the majority family boating
market, had as a matter of policy allowed its great rival, Mercury, unchallenged
dominance of the racing field.
OMC, which had been trying to
discourage its dealers from racing, was urging them to seek out the big
Mercs on the racing circuit, and take them out.
Their long string of successes
included the Eppalock Four Hours and the Outboard Cup.
The new ‘Avenger’
— the Jacksons have now decided to abandon the numerals —
is primarily a marathon boat, and was selected with one big mission in
mind: To win the inaugural Australian Four Hours, on the Barwon River,
on May 5. This is its next engagement.
Two things, however, can be
taken as certain. As soon as he feels fit and ready to do so, Bob Jackson
will be back behind the wheel.
Pale and shaken, Bob Jackson receives assistance after his smash on Lake Glenmaggie. At his left is his wife Lorraine, and his father, Jim.
'THE JACKSON BROTHERS - Speedman
behind the wheel,'
Australian Sea Spray Weekly, 22 March, p. 5