Via email from Carol Blake

Hi Paula,

I have just finished reading an article on the great Stampede. It was such a blast from the past.

As a very young girl in the 1960’s, our family would go to all the Race meetings watching the speed boats. Nagambie, Lake Epalock, Lake Modawarrie, Melton and others. My father, Russell Blake was a mechanic and he did all the fine tuning on Stampede. Sadly he died in 1969 so our association with the speedboats ended there.

He used to go out to Croydon and work on her. Back in those days I understand that most of the fine tuning was done by ear. He would stick his head into the engine and work out what needed to be done. He also knew just the perfect mix for the fuels to ensure optimum output.

Dad also did a lot of work with Alan Fordham on his skiff “Sylvia”.

It was wonderful to read the story and see the old photo’s. Mum is still with us and she got such a thrill to see them and it bought back wonderful memories for her.

Is there any chance that you might be able to send through some photo’s of the boat and images of Bobby Saniga and Stan Jones so that I can pass the story onto Dads Grand Children and Great Grandchildren. I would also love a copy of the article to put in my family history.

Yours Truly

Carole Blake

Hi Carol, Thank you so much for your lovely message. I would love to publish your story (as written in your email) in Boat Talk’ on the GILFLITE web site, if that’s ok. If so,  do you happen to have any photos to accompany your story?  It would be a great follow up to the story on Stampede.   Regards Paula

Hi Paula,

Thank you for your kind response. I have attached a photo of “Sylvia” with Stan Jones and dad in the back. 

Mum seems to think it was at Yarrawonga. The photographer was M.Zaetta from Swan Hill. 

I have also attached the article that prompted my letter as I was telling my partner about Stampede. Mum is 90 now and has early onset dementia and showing her these pictures has prompted some lovely memories and stories. 

I just checked out the link to the forthcoming Griffith Cup-so tempted to go.  My goodness it all looks so different. Certainly brings back memories for me as well.

Kind Regards, 

Carole Blake

Below article reference