RACING BOAT HISTORY –
ALLEN BROWN’S (a.k.a. Brownie) HYDROPHOBIA – 6 cylinder Falcon engine
Story by Tricia Bailey (Brown) daughter of Allen Brown – owner/driver Hydrophobia
Dad loved boat racing and as he was on a very tight budget he would do most of his mechanical repairs himself. He used to get me to come out and help, we’d spend the week nights out in the shed hovering over the boat.
I remember most of all when he would hold down the valve springs with a spanner and screwdriver.
And I would have to drop in the collets, and he would say don’t let them fly or we will never find them. I must admit, I did feel the pressure to ensure the engine was ready for the boat to be back on the water for another run on the weekend.
The boat leaked so bad he had to be the last one in the water and the first one out. And could not swim to save himself. Hence the name ‘Hydrophobia’.
Dad said that Hydrophobia was a terrible boat when he first got it, until David Gill worked on it. After that it was a great boat and fast!
COLOUR PHOTO – 3 BOATS: Dad said it was a handicap race and he won!
Allen Brown in Hydrophobia, the other two are John Lewis in Vulture, and Trevor Matthews in Assassin too. (Handicap race at Albert Park Lake – Allen Brown/Hydrophobia won this race)! David Gill worked on all three of these boats
BLACK & WHITE PHOTO: Photo taken at Lake Eppalock by The Age photographer.
The black and white photo is Hydrophobia doing the kilo run (one boat on it’s own over a measured kilometer) at Lake Eppalock and dad (Allen Brown – Hydrophobia) did 76mph.
Ernie Nunn from Sydney and quite a few other blokes used to come to Lake Eppalock for the Kilo run because it was a very good lake for it.
Brownie said he was out on the water in Bennie Foxes runabout (as a crash boat) when Bob Saniga flipped Bayswater Bulk (timber hydro) doing 150mph, over a timed flying kilometer run (attempting to break the Australasian speed record which they already held with Stampede). David Gill was a scrutineer at this race. Bob survived the crash. Brownie & Bennie hooked onto Bayswater Bulk after it flipped but had to let go or the hydroplane would have pulled them under. And down she went! The next day they salvaged the hydro.
Click on the photo’s below to enlarge