Sandringham, Victoria, Australia: Stuart Jackson admits it was a “giant leap’ when he stepped up to Formula 1 power boat racing from his 15ft Bullet late last year.
“It was both scary and fun at the same time … a mixture of anxiety and excitement,” he says.
“Racing for us is a family thing – I have raced club cars for over 10 years and boats in other classes since about 2012.
“The kids enjoy getting away for the weekend and Dad used to race boats, so it’s in my blood.”
Indeed Dad, Bob Jackson, is no less than an Australian boat racing legend so when Stuart – who operates Sandringham-based R Marine Jacksons with his father – heard an impressive GTR F1 boat was on the market, he simply could not resist.
The carbon-fibre F1 boat – powered by a Mercury 200 XS SST outboard – can reach speeds of over 160 kilometres per hour (100mph). It was previously owned by Australian F1 power boat racing titan David Trask, who these days spends his spare time chasing marlin in Queensland’s waters aboard his luxurious new Riviera 53 Enclosed Flybridge, Big Business.
“David raced his GTR a few times and always finished well so we know the boat is competitive,” says Stuart. “I will spend the next 12 months getting to know her better and it will take 12 months to do that … and then, hopefully, I will be able to keep up with the best.”
Stuart says he did not cut corners with safety – has a collision safety cell for protection as well as an airbag system that inflates to keep the boat afloat if needed. There is also an air system in his helmet, triggered by a valve to provide air if needed.
“I value my life pretty highly,” says Stuart. “So it’s reassuring that all the safety systems are in place.”
Stuart says his favourite Riviera model at the moment is without doubt the sporty and adventurous 445 SUV – a crossover yacht that combines the high-performance, blue-water cruising and fish-raising abilities of the classic Riviera Flybridge with the single-level, leisurely entertaining features of the Riviera Sport Yacht design.
“The SUVs (also available in 515 and 565 models) are capable of doing everything,” says Stuart. “And they can be easily handled with just a couple aboard”.
Indeed, many owners are saying the SUV is like owning two boats … in one!If you would like to view our SUV collection, please click here.