- VULTURE Part IV – ‘Lewis sets 5 Records’ – By Bindy Lewis (an extracts from 1970 & ’71 publications )
- VULTURE – owner/driver: John Lewis
- VULTURE HULL – boat builder/design & modifications: David Gill (GILFLITE)
That’s Vulture, above, showing her turn of speed.With 90.36 mph Lewis shattered Alan Fordham’s long – standing Victorian and Australian Pan Unlimited Service Runabout record, set at the 89 mph mark in Venus.
He is also claiming the Victorian and Australian Displacement and Service Runabout records in the new 400 cubic inch class
Vulture 90.36 mph also gives Lewis, Alan Fordham’s Victorian Unlimited Displacement record, and Glyn Graham’s, Victorian Unlimited Racing Runabout record which stood at 79 mph.
John Lewis was runner-up to the Bendigo champion, Lloyd Willian, in the 1970’s Sporting Medal
(ARTICLE: Madden, T., 1970, ‘Lewis Sets 5 Records’, Sporting Globe.)
The Prop Rider – ‘Championship‘
Although at the time of writing I don’t know any details, I have heard that John Lewis won a championship but was disqualified for hitting a buoy. Now maybe John hit a buoy maybe he was bumped into it or maybe even the buoy hit Vulture, either way it doesn’t matter, the final result always turns out the same… disqualified. Johnny was not going to Queensland for the Championships but after Qld, APBA Presidents pleading John decided to go at a total cost in excess of $500 for fuel, accommodation, time lost etc. Now I don’t care what the rules may be, but they need changing if what I have heard on the grapevine is correct about why Vulture was disqualified.
It would be far more correct to penalize a driver one lap for hitting any buoy, marker etc. during a race than disqualification. One lap behind is better than racing a boat to destruction, for nothing at the end of the chequered flag. Drivers its up to you, you can change rules if you vote as a group. Next time it may be YOU that gets rubbed out by an officious know nothing.
(Article: 1971, The Prop Rider, February, p. 4.)
RECORD ATTEMPT – Australian barefoot speed record
GARRY BARTON was invited down by Victoria’s Barefoot Club to make an attempt on the Australian barefoot speed record. John Lewis, owner of Vulture, Australia’s fastest runabout, readily agreed to tow Garry and immediately rebuilt his big Corvette motor to ensure a trouble-free run. Wind and water conditions were not ideal on the day but Garry and John were determined to beat the existing record of 75.35 mph. More than 5000 people lined the banks of the Barwon for the televised meeting and waited 10 minutes for the water to settle before they heard the roar of Venture’s motor flying down the river towards the surveyed stretch.
Halfway through the first run Barton bounced up to 4Oft through the air, landed on one foot, recovered and barefooted out at 76.61 mph Halfway to a new record.
John Lewis circled around Barton, waiting in the water and taking full advantage of the 5 minutes allowed between runs. Calling for more speed, Garry came down the river visibly faster than on first run. It was all or nothing, but just as Garry entered the course his 200ft rope broke in the middle at about 82 mph, and Australia was robbed of a new record. Hard luck Garry and John, but we – hope you team up again in the not too distant future. — TOM WYLD, VBC president.
(ARTICLE: Wyld, T. 1971, ‘RECORD ATTEMPT’, WATER SKIER magazine, January.)