Graham Findley... 1983 Bullet
Here is the story of my buddy Graham Findley's boat from "down under" as told by himself:
"RUSTLER"is a 1750 Bullet boat that has certainly seen some action over the past few years, the design goes back to 1979.
If you were to order one of these boats today (they are still being produced), it would come out of the very same mould as this one, back in 1983.
The original owner Paul Elliott (note the registration # PE8N), had purchased the boat with the sole intention of Ski Racing, accordingly it was setup with a 100 litre fuel tank and minus the rear lounge.
In 1987 Glenn Thompson, bought the boat with the intention of social skiing.
At the time it was powered by a 225hp Mercury.
Glenn then began Ski Racing in 1989, the first race he drove in was the Grafton Bridge to Bridge, his brother Phill as observer with skiers Garry Arnfield and Mick Cooper. Despite some reservations about the teams chances, they came home first in the Social Outboard Class, and broke the record as well.
The "Rustler Ski Team" competed together for about two years in various races, and won an impressive five classics in the Social Outboard Class.
The transfer to Circuit Racing began in late 1991 when the 225hp engine was destroyed while social skiing.
The destruction of the 225 meant another motor was required.
In 1992 the ‘Werner Burner’, a 2.4 litre high performance Mercury which had been used competitively by the European Formula 1 driver, Michael Werner was purchased.
The motor had been brought back from Europe by Craig Bailey who was also competing on the International Formula 1 circuit.
Converting to Circuit Racing did not require a great deal of modification, the fuel tank was replaced with a 50 litre unit and the steering moved to the centre.
These are some of the highlights of Glenn’s career driving #310 "Rustler"
1993 Australian Champion - Mod VP Class.
1994 NSW Champion of four classes - Unlimited Outboard,
Unlimited Mono, Mod VP and 2.7 litre Super Sports.
1995 Australian Champion - Unlimited Mono Class and second place in Mod VP.
1995 NSW Drag Champion - Unlimited Outboard (UOB)
Early 1996 I bought "Rustler" equipped with the detuned ‘Werner Burner’ as a social ski boat. Having a fast boat is one thing, driving it is another, anyone that has experienced chinewalk knows what I am referring to.
To cut a long story short Glenn and I became very good friends, Glenn taught me to drive on Club race days, at the St George Motor Boat Club, Kogarah Bay. When prize money was on offer Glenn would drive, on average achieving wins 9 out of every 10 races, the prize money was then "reinvested" into the boat.
Glenn again drove "Rustler" at the 1996 Australian Championships, placing second in Unlimited Mono and Mod VP Classes.
Since 1999 "Rustler" has been raced solely in Drags, racing with the NSW club
Drag Boat Racers of Australia.
At present it is the only Outboard on the register of a Drag Boat Club in Australia.
Unfortunately here in Australia, drag boats are predominantly inboard powered, these guys have gone out of their way to assist in any way possible, they really do welcome and encourage Outboards to drag races.
There are Outboards that show up from time to time but there are no other dedicated Drag Outboards.
It is proving to be quite a challenge, to attract other Outboard competitors, it really is a new frontier in Australia.
Sometimes "Rustler" has to race in Speed Bracket Classes, some of the inboarders have fits.
"Rustler" has won the Unlimited Outboard Monohull UOM Title at:
1999 Australian Drag Boat Championships
2000 Australian Drag Boat Championships
Hull – Hand laid fibreglass construction – Mono (V bottom) configuration.
Length – 5.1 metres from bow tip to transom
Steering position – Centre
Steering type – Cable and pulleys
Steering Wheel – Sparco - with trim switches and fuel pump shutoff switch
Seat – Go Kart (fibreglass)
Fuel Cell – 4 US Gallon mounted behind seat on rails
Fuel Pump - Weldon
Engine – Worked Mercury 2.5 litre EFI
Pistons – Stock
Rods – 2.5 Light.
Crank – 2 litre
Flywheel – Light Mercury
Midsection – 20" with relieved exhaust
Gearbox – 1.87 Offshore CLE
Total Weight – Approx 1000lbs including driver and fuel
Best ¼ mile Trap Speed – 95.33mph
I would like to thank a couple of guys who have given a great deal of their valuable time and experience concerning Outboard Drag Racing they are:
Sam Baker – Illinois, USA - www.scaryfast.com
Gordon Montague – Florida, USA - www.montyracing.com
Also when I’m on the rope waiting for call-up, I remember my friend, the late Glenn ‘Cork’ Thompson
Graham Findley – Sydney, AUSTRALIA