March 19, 2018

Sonic Racing Australia


Back in 1978 when I was just 15, I built my first radio controlled boat. An Aquarius multi boat with an OS 10 engine, Full Ahead hardware and a Futaba 2 channel stick set all supplied by DeChastels hobby shop in Nundah. The radio set alone cost me 2 weeks pay back then, as a junior working at Plaisted’s timber mill, I was on $63.15 per week. While the boat went well, I didn’t get the opportunity to run it much, usually only when dad and I went fishing at Bribie.

In 1982 I started work for the government at the Bald Hills T.A.F.E. now known as North point. I soon meet up with Steve Walker from the engineering section who’s family were into the model boat scene. I remember a trip to Laidley with the Walker’s as a spectator in 82 for a Straight line speed weekend. The Bertram’s were there along with the Clark’s and many others unknown to me at the time. I remember the Clark’s as I use to race mini bikes with Stephen Clark through the 70’s along with another guy, Michael Doohan.

It wasn’t until 92 when I was first introduced to the AMPBA and the world of organised model powerboating. I meet up with a guy named Rod Smith from the Brisbane Model Marine club (BMMC) that were conducting meetings at a lake on the Jess brothers potato farm off Old North road, Warner. Those early days were the birth of the petrol powered boats we see today. At speeds of 40 to 50 km/h we thought we were kings back then. These days, my slowest 60 inch, 25 pound boat runs 100 km/h while my twin engine Victory Catamaran has run over 150 km/h.

While I called my boats Sonic Racing from the early 90’s, it wasn’t until 2003 when I started this website. My main interest was in larger model powerboats where there was little on offer by way of hulls and components in Australia at the time. I took it upon myself to design and develop the hulls and hardware I manufacture today. Early components were Waterjet cut and I would do the finishing here on an old Chinese made lathe/ drill press combination machine.

I still have the old machine here although is covered in dust waiting for me to add a new on/off switch and to re-wire the motor. Around 2007 I invested in a milling machine that I converted to CNC. As with anything I put my mind to, I found it easy to set up and operate and was soon producing my own components. In 2010 I commenced vacuum infusion of hulls and soon streamlined the process.

I have served on the BMMC Committee as Treasurer in 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 00, 01, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 where I still serve. I have also served on the AMPBA Committee for 3 terms in 13/14, 14/15 and 15/16. I have served the club many times over the years as Contest Director, event co-ordinater, AMPBA delegate, chief cook and bottle washer to ensure the continued success of BMMC.

In late 2011, the writing was on the wall that the BMMC club was going to loose its water at Boral where we had been since 2000. I took it upon myself to approach management at the Amcor mill, just across the river from the Boral lake and was able to secure the use of one of their lakes. The club moved to Amcor in mid 2012. The Morton Bay regional council now has control of the property and the club has had to once again relocate. The club approached the Lawnton Lakes development site (formally Boral) and have renewed an agreement with them back on the old lake from August 2017.

I currently hold six National Straight line speed records, one of which is well over the current IMPBA World record. I also hold seven current National 1/2 Kilometer Oval records, one of those is also above the current IMPBA World record for its class. In my spare time, I have developed an electronic timing system to use in Straight line speed and 2 lap oval speed events, which has been approved by the AMPBA.