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  • History Of Boat Racing In South Africa (Small Part)

    Got this from my buddy.

    Wikus

    Great to stumble across this site, my ole man was part of the racing scene here in South Africa in the sixties along with his pal and they experimented and raced an E Class runabout of which they did some interesting modifications. I remember a certain Pat Thomas had an inboard Hydro (Front Engine) and it was powered by a 409 Chevy. If I remember correctly it was called Alley Cat. They were part of the East Rand Speed Boat Club which is still in existence at the Rynfield Dam in Benoni 20 miles or so east of Johannesburg. My dad went onto attain his Springbok Colours (National) for coming second overall in the South African Olympic Games boat race held in 1965 at the Wemmer Pan in Johannesburg. He received a Silver medal from the then State President C R Swart. His boat was engine with a 283 cu in Chevy that he scooped out of a accident damaged 57 Bel Air and he managed to get hold of an Edelbrock Tri Power intake with three Strombergís and stack air cleaners, It looked fantastic.
    One of the highlights of my memories was years later Gordon Lanham Love who had a beautiful SK hull named On On and his race # was 3. It was an all-white hull with big letters emblazoned on the side Powered by Ford, and he ran a 427 cu In Holman Moody Ford with a V drive. As I sit reminiscing here today I can still hear that distinct sound of that big ole' Ford propelling that beautiful boat at a great turn of speed.

    Many years later a gentlemen Louis Lipchitz was instrumental in getting the Kona hull entrenched here in South Africa. He obtained a few from Universal Plastics in LA and set about to mould them locally here in South Africa. It was also a beautiful boat and most of them were powered with a 455 Olds turning a 12J Berkeley Jet. There were a few around with BBC power plants and some with 400 cu In Mopar engines as well as some with 460 Fords. Louisís company at the time was called L&H Plastics here in Johannesburg. Of particular interest I remember they (Louis and Neville Cohen) went over to the USA and raced at I think Lake Mead in Arizona with one of their boats. My memory is fading but I think it was a Kona hull named Firewater and it had a Big Block Chevy turning a modified Berkeley Jet.

    Much later again the Hallets of Leon Prinsloo (Raven Marine) Alan Lindenberg, and a radical supercharged boat of Derek Dresdner, Attie Tromp and as mentioned Reinhardt Schultz all continued the inboard racing and hi speed skiing here in Sunny South Africa. It was a sad day 9 Jan 1998 when Reinhardt lost his life in the accident that also claimed the lives of his wife and daughter when he crashed his Cessna Turbo 210 en route from the coast near Vryheid back to Johannesburg. The accident report attributed the in-flight breakup of his aircraft to continued VFR into IFR conditions. Reinhardt was an instrument rated and I guess we will never know what transpired that fateful day. The inboard V8 scene seemed to taper off considerably and is almost extinct save to say a few Hallets and every now and then you'll hear the elevated RPM of a Jet boat. "Those were the Days" I have enclosed a pic of my dad's E runabout circa 1970 running on the trailer all plumbed with my momís garden hose for cooling

    Unknown Author
    This article was originally published in forum thread: History Of Boat Racing In South Africa (Small Part) started by Jet Mad View original post
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. dajet's Avatar
      dajet -
      Your reference to Derek Dresner brought back many memories of ski racing in the Seventies her in ZA. Derek had 2 Kona's - the first was named HellFire and had thestandard (not for long) Olds 455. He later aqcuired another new hull (Wildfire) and 12j from Louis and fitted a full house Chev 454. He later went on to flat bottoms with V drives. In the ski racing days he pulled Derek Levy amongst others, and also gained his Springbok colors. I was fortunate enough to be his co-pilot and observer for many years. Derek is alive and well and has always resided in Durban.
    1. 78_Tahiti's Avatar
      78_Tahiti -
      Thank You dajet, for the additional history! and welcome, to vintage jetboats.com. Are there any pictures available, of these old races, or the boats? That would be an incredible addition, to this topic.
    1. Tailwheel's Avatar
      Tailwheel -
      Greetings,

      It was I that posted this article on a some of the history on another forum from my recollection here in Sunny South Africa. Included here is a pic of Derek Dresners boat Beyond Belief at Loch Vaal Club circa 1983. Another pic of a legend in SA Power boat history is Bobby Bothner, as well as Peter Haas with his 3 point hydroplane Blue Peter powered by an M198 300SL Mercedes line six engine. Here is also some pics of my Kona Obelix circa 1990 at Loch Vaal with its fresh Olds 455 and a new impeller and wear ring on a 12 JC with nozzle trim adjuster.Attachment 16512Attachment 16508Attachment 16509Attachment 16510Attachment 16511
    1. Sloubser's Avatar
      Sloubser -
      My brother was googling and came upon this page. Louis Lipschitz was our dad. When he retired and sold his business, he moved to the USA (Atlanta) to be with the family. (He brought his Berkeley Jet Drive manuals and a number of engine parts with him when he emigrated!) He passed away in October of 2008. He kept scrapbooks and we have photos and videos (converted from old movies) of some of his races and of many of the boats he built. His favorite race boat was Tinkerbell - a Kona with a Berkeley Jet Drive. He built Riki Tiki and Sititunga for Neville Cohen, Big Daddy for the Channing family as well as Hellfire for Derek Dresner and many more. He received Southern Transvaal colors for power boat racing, and he managed two South African waterski racing teams that went overseas - one to Lake Como in Italy and the one that went to Lake Mead. I am attaching some photos as well as a copy of his notes from the Lake Mead race, and the SA team that represented South Africa at the race. I am also attaching a scan of a telegram he received from Ralph Rhoda of the Berkeley Pump Co, congratulating him on setting a new world record - which I believe was for long distance skiing (500km).
      It really brought back memories to see the post
      Attachment 17230 Attachment 17231 Attachment 17232 Attachment 17233 Attachment 17234 Attachment 17235 Attachment 17236
    1. "THE ADVOCATE"'s Avatar
      "THE ADVOCATE" -
      That's awesome! Welcome to the site Sloubser.
    1. 78_Tahiti's Avatar
      78_Tahiti -
      That is so Cool! Thanks for posting, some of the Rich History, of Your Families part, in Jet Boat History.
    1. 1Luke's Avatar
      1Luke -
      Hi guys,
      I am new to the site and relatively new to Jet boating in general. It was great to read some of the boating history in South Africa and I think it's safe to say that Jet boating (in the vintage fashion) is all but a thing of the past here. A pity, because the bug has bit. I recently purchased my first Jet boat (Kona) from Jet Mad about a year ago, which means his jet boating fraternity has grown by 50%....there are now 3 of us . I am sure there might be a few more jet boats floating around but we are yet to meet or see them!
      Here are some pics of my Kona (which Wikus built and of which I am the new proud owner of).
      Graham
    1. T8er S.'s Avatar
      T8er S. -
      Welcome, cool float from a cool guy.
    1. "THE ADVOCATE"'s Avatar
      "THE ADVOCATE" -
      I am jelouse. That is one bad Kona with one bad 455 in it! How is Wickus anyway? Miss him....
    1. 1Luke's Avatar
      1Luke -
      Thanks for the welcome. I am actually hooking up with Wikus this afternoon. We are going to test my new Jet boat tomorrow......Eliminator Daytona with a BMW twin turbo motor. I will send more detail and pics once we know we have a runner
    1. 1Luke's Avatar
      1Luke -
      He is well....I will ask him to sign in and say Hi to ya-all.
    1. T8er S.'s Avatar
      T8er S. -
      Quote Originally Posted by 1Luke View Post
      Thanks for the welcome. I am actually hooking up with Wikus this afternoon. We are going to test my new Jet boat tomorrow......Eliminator Daytona with a BMW twin turbo motor. I will send more detail and pics once we know we have a runner
    1. Chr1st0c's Avatar
      Chr1st0c -
      Hey Everyone ...

      What an absolute joy to find this thread with South African boating stories. So a quick introduction... My name is Christo Cilliers and I have been involved is ski racing with Attie Tromp Snr and Jnr from a very young age. My father Rossouw Cilliers have know Attie Tromp Snr from when they were just kids and needless to say that Attie Jnr and I have been life long friends.

      I have so many stories to tell that can add to this awesome thread and its really inspired me to share some of it with you guys. The names Derek Dresner, Jack Mitchel, Leon Prinsloo, Harvey Redman, Billy and Tommy Adlam, Hans Botha, Louis Lipschitz, Chris Bamm, Sarel Swannepoel and so many more have become household names when we come together and discuss the good old days.

      I am looking forward to sharing some stories with you guys and again ... So glad I found this thread.

      Christo
    1. T8er S.'s Avatar
      T8er S. -
      Welcome, can't wait to hear some stories.
    1. "THE ADVOCATE"'s Avatar
      "THE ADVOCATE" -
      And old/new pictures as well if you have some!
    1. 78_Tahiti's Avatar
      78_Tahiti -
      This thread is really growing! That is fantastic. What an interesting heritage, Jet Boating has in South Africa.
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