Commodore of the Victorian Speed Boat Club

Introducing the current Commodore of the Victorian Speed Boat Club,

Mr Gregg Godsell

Above: Commodore Gregg Godsell at the Victorian Speed Boat Club

Note: In brief, The Commodore sets the overall annual committee agenda (consistent with the views of members), helps the committee prioritise its goals and then keeps the committee on track by working within that overall framework.

Greg Godsell took over as The Commodore of the Victorian Speed Boat Club in July 2023 from the previous Commodore, Mr Ray Palmer who had been at the helm of the VSBC for the previous 4 years. 

In Greggs words “Ray had set up the position very well for me to take over and continue in the great work he had been doing for the past years”.

Gregg Godsell’s BIO

  • Born      09/03/1959
  • Place of Birth Melbourne 
  • I was born and bred in Essendon
  • Grew up supporting the bombers 
  • Played local football in the Essendon District Football League for Aberfeldie FC 
  • Went to Aberfeldie Primary School
  • Then on to Essendon High 
  • Finished HSC Form 6 
  • Not interested in much else at that stage
  • Became a carpenter thru my father being partners in a timber yard in Niddrie 
  • Worked for BGA builders, RJ Hille Builders

Eventually, I became a registered Builder and worked for the next 30 years, building many extensions renovations bathrooms and kitchens. 

I grew up in Ogilvie St where a neighbour at the time was Chris Burns who was involved with the VSBC racing in the 253/4.2 litre class as it was. 

Chris invited my father and myself up to the club one weekend in about 2000 and the following year I joined the club.

John Ruth had the van opposite The Burns van, so I rang John and did a deal and that was the start of my time at the VSBC.

As kids growing up my brother Ivor and myself always had an affiliation with boats and water.

Our father skied competition with the VWSA and we spent many years travelling with friends and families from Geelong to Boort to Deniliquin and all the places’ tournaments were held.

As we grew, we went and did lots of other boating and water sports so the opportunity to become involved with the club was easy.

I spent the first few years trying to get involved and met some of my now closest friends.

The Patterson’s have become very special people in my life even now they are like family to me. 

I developed a special interest in the fire boat which at the time was light blue a Coventry climax engine ran the fire pump which was exceptionally overpowered but certainly did the job.

So in 2006 with Keith Moffat and Max Bullen we rebuilt and renovated the fire boat into the slick unit as it was. 

I spent the next 8-10 years towing it to other venues all over Victoria as we had no water and no racing at Eppalock due to the drought. 

These photos were taken just after we had done it up and the one on the water was its maiden voyage at Melton after the fit out . 

Myself and Greg Ballem were the crew for that day

Many laughs with many good people had me developing long term friendships with some of the best racing witnessed during many years.

Lots of good and some not so pleasant memories from those days. 

I then operated the Race tower for many years and learnt what racing was really about.

My involvement in racing these days is crew member of Moonshine Racing  my brother Ivor owns the boat and my nephew Mike drives the boat and that combination of boat and driver has proved very successful with many wins the most recent being the, 

***** 2023 Aust 105 mph Championship Title *****

It’s very enjoyable to be part of a team most of which is family !

I became Commodore for the first time in 2015 and lasted till 2017 that time. 

With help from a very good bunch of people on the committee I have taken on the role again to help the club remain a power in the boat racing community.

I have met and worked with so many good people over the years and it’s satisfying to look back and say “yeah I did that “ 

I look forward to a few more years with the club and really can’t see myself going anywhere very soon.

I’m now living in Bendigo.

I have endured two flood events to my van in recent years and can say I have seen the best and worst of the conditions when it was empty at 5% to when it was at its fullest at 134%. 

So, I’m not too worried about much anymore …….

I have 2 grown kids Katie and Tom who now have kids of their own.

 I get a huge thrill when they are about and they  love the lake here at Eppalock as much as I do.

Sunset over Lake Eppalock

Historical Photos below showing the 2011 floods with the Race Tower under water and the 2014 Griffith Cup meeting hosted by the VSBC at Lake Eppalock with VIP and Camping areas

Ode to Ray Palmer

Ray is passionate about the club and the direction he would like to see the club in the future and with many projects on the ‘to do’ list we will certainly be busy for many years to come. 

Ray is such a popular guy amongst the club members and boating community and is always ready to have a chat about the sport he loves so much.

Ray can now settle into his role as Rear Commodore and enjoy his retirement from full time work and I’m sure he and wife Joanne will be a bit more relaxed rather than worry too much about the day to day running of the club.

On behalf of all the members of the VSBC thanks for your time, Ray you did a great job!


Gregg Godsell

Story by: Gregg Godsell

Published by: Paula Gill (GillGirlPublishing/GILFLITE)

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