Hervey Bay’s Brett Thornton, seen here navigating for Maryborough’s Col Bellert.
Hervey Bay’s Brett Thornton, seen here navigating for Maryborough’s Col Bellert. Alistair Brightman

Brett jets into living his dream

BRETT Thornton has had an obsession since 1999.

He fell in love with the high-speed world of jet boats after he won a ride in one all those years ago.

Since then, the 53-year-old from Hervey Bay has satisfied his need for speed by travelling throughout the nation to get his fix by watching the action from the banks of courses.

That was until he managed to talk his way into navigating for a few Fraser Coast race team a couple of years ago.

His role is now about to change, dramatically.

Thornton will make his debut as a driver in the 350 class in round four of the 2010 Continental Tyres Queensland Superboat Championships at Susan River Raceway this weekend.

He’ll do it in his own boat as well.

Thornton bought a second-hand boat earlier this year and he’s worked his heart out to get it ready in time to make his debut at his home track.

It may be still lacking in paint for this meeting, but it’s not short of a name – Obsession.

Thornton has won the race against time to be ready for his big day, but he couldn’t have picked a tougher venue.

Susan River Raceway is rated by many teams as one of the toughest in Australia.

Going one-on-one against a serpentine-shaped course, that has less than a metre of water, in boats that can attain speeds of up to 130kmh in only three seconds, is not for the faint-hearted.

Thornton said he was looking forward to the challenge.

“I’m really excited,” Thornton, who will have his wife Linda as navigator, said.

“I can tell you that I really will be living my dream – I cannot wait to get started.”

But is he nervous?

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t,” he said.

As for his boat, Thornton is sure it would do the job.

“It may look a bit rank,” he said with a laugh.

“It will get us around though – well, hopefully it will.”

Racing starts at 8.45am today and from 9am tomorrow.

Gates open at 8am both days and admission is $20 each day for adults while children under-14 are free.



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