Thornton rides in the hot-seat
BRETT Thornton's jet boat may be a work in progress but looks can be deceiving.
A lack of paint may make it look like the ugly duckling to racegoers but the 53-year-old from Hervey Bay thinks it's simply beautiful – he just loves the boat he's named Obsession.
So it came as no surprise that Thornton said he loved every second of his debut as a driver in the 350 restricted class in round four of the 2010 Continental Tyres Queensland Superboat Championships at Susan River Raceway.
It was the first time Thornton, who has been a navigator for the past couple of years, had been in the hot-seat so to speak and he showed no lack of ability.
He finished all eight runs he had and wasted no time in doing it.
His fastest time was 56 seconds, just three or so seconds behind the pacesetters.
Not only was he quick but Thornton didn't go the wrong way either on the serpentine-shaped course.
Not a bad effort for a novice over a course rated as one of the toughest in Australia.
Thornton, who bought the boat in March, said he was blown away by the experience.
“It was awesome. You'll never get me out of this seat now,” he laughed.
“I couldn't sleep after the first day of racing because I was so pumped.
“It certainly made all the hard work of getting the boat together on a shoestring budget worth it.
“I can't wait to have another crack at it.”
But jet boat racing doesn't come cheaply – something Thornton is well aware of as he doesn't have a sponsor.
He's not about to let it bother him though.
You see, his wife Linda is his navigator and he reckons she's the key.
“She loves this sport as much as me,” he said.
“If I need to spend a bit of coin on the boat then I am sure she'll allow me to – well, I hope she will.”