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Vulture 1970's

To the Secretary V.S.B.C
Dear Sir,

I have been prompted to write to the Club, in reference to the excessive noise from boats at the Race meeting held on Sunday 25th May at Albert Park Lake.

At this meeting at least 15 boats exceeded the noise limit, and at least 5 of these extremely loud boats would have been in excess of 120 Decibels. A large number of these same boats have obviously made no attempt at all towards noise restriction. These boats were also allowed to continue racing throughout the entire day.

These drivers have now had 12 months of warning from the club, including a testing session with noise -‘level equipment. Therefore there does not seem to be any reason for drivers not complying with the rules?

However these drivers continue to race, meeting after meeting, making no attempt, and yet, not being reprimanded by the Race Committee. To install a proper muffler system to a boat is not only expensive in money, but also expensive in horsepower. The lose of power from an effective muffler system to a proper racing engine is considerable. Why then, should some drivers not only be able to deliberately break club rules, but also gain a IO% increase over drivers who are trying to do the right thing?

Noticing considerable loss of power and further gain in weight (80 LB to the rear of my boat) from the mufflers, which caused a very definite loss of performance to my boat. I then requested from the race Secretary, to run my boat for a lap record attempt without the mufflers. The same, I pointed out, as many of the other boats. However the answer was No!

As a result, it appears to me, the Race Secretary is tough on some, and lenient on others at his own discretion. Normally I would expect an explanation from either the Race Secretary or the Club, but it is obvious that there, is none.

I would further like to inform the club that in any further trails or races on Albert Park Lake, I intend to do so without mufflers. I will however run water through the collector pipes as we used to do in the past.

Yours Sincerely

John Lewis

Yarrawonga Pit Pass - J. Lewis - Vulture


20th December 1971

Dear John,

I have been instructed by the Committee of this Club to write to you concerning the misuse of Albert Park Lake.

It is the general opinion of the Committee that all members are required to obey all rules concerning the Club.

The rules and regulations controlling the Lake are very rigid and under no circumstances whatsoever are to be wavered, bent or broken.

The Committee were understandably concerned when receiving another letter from the Albert Park Committee of Management stating that your boat was off the course.

It is debatable as to what the course size is but as stated by you 200ft. from buoy is hardly off the course. This was taken into consideration by the Committee.

The Albert Park Committee of Management will be advised that their complaint has been brought before the committee and dealt with accordingly.

Concerning the other complaints our Race Secretary, Mr. Jack Riddle will speak to you personally but the Committee point out that at all future times you must obey all rules and regulations the same as any other member.

It was decided at the Meeting all future complaints against any member on the Lake will be dealt with and Drivers concerned will be tanned from use of the Lake for a period to be determined other than race days.

Yours faithfully,

Hon. Secretary


HAVING SEEN Vulture and Jo Blo pitted against one another in the Australasian Diplacement Championship (the Marge Watson) I had some doubts about the former, as it seemed in no way to justify the good things I had heard about the boat. The Australian Championship at Southport, I felt, was not a good test. The final heat of the Griffith Cup, however, was a different story. For the first lap, until trouble struck, Vulture showed up very well, and I'm quite happy to shift my ground a little.

Lake Eppaloch on the 11th of July 2004 !!!



Tomorrow’s Victorian Speedboat Club meeting on Albert Park Lake opens the 1970-71 racing season, and a new era in the sport.

In Victoria, inboard powered boats have always raced right-handed. All races conducted in future under the auspices of the Australian Power Boat Association will be anti-clockwise.

I believe that the change will greatly improved the Albert Park Lake course, which, clock-wise, had a short finish from the final buoy.

Tomorrow’s meeting – the Len Owen Memorial Aggregate Trophy, which is traditionally decided on opening day – will mark the end of another era.

Keith Hooper’s skiff, Mandy, acknowledged queen of the Albert Park circuit, with Hooper’s retirement from racing, has been sold to New South Wales.

Who will succeed her as the Albert Park specialist?

My tip is John Lewis’ Vulture, the 1970 Griffith’s Cup runner-up, which recently broke three Australian and five Victorian records on Lake Glenmaggie.

The Australian Unlimited Service Runabout record which fell to Vulture’s 90.36 mph was set by Alan Fordhams Venus, which reigned supreme on Albert Park before Mandy.

Lewis will have some hot competition from Sporting Globe Medallist, Lloyd Willians, and perhaps later in the season, from 1969 Griffith Cup winner Trevor Mathews.

Willian’s Hoots Mon is a 300 cubic inch boat, and Mathew’s skiff, Assassin Too, is now also racing in the same class.

Both may corner better than Vulture, but, particularly with a longer finishing straight, Lewis should have too much up his sleeve.

Matthews hasn’t had a terribly happy run with Assassin Too, and may play a more decisive role among the displacement boats with the well-performed Mooneyes, which he acquired from Ken Smith’s disbanded Seymour stable, and which is being rebuilt.

Conversion to anti-clockwise means boats competing tomorrow will have to be set to turn anti-clockwise.

As it can take three or four races to get the trim of a boat exactly right, tomorrow there could be some wild and spectacular rides, and a spinout or two.

Fanmail from 10 year old John Wilson
Fanmail from John Wilson

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