Neil Coddington, 57, a respected competitor on the power boat circuit, was warming up his supercharged V8 hydroplane Blue Max at Somerset Dam, north-west of Brisbane, about 8.45am when the power boat rolled and the experienced racer of 30 years was killed.
Onlookers, according to the Brisbane Times, said the Blue Max was travelling at about 150km/h in calm conditions when it suddenly veered left and rolled. Neil Coddington was wearing a safety helmet and life preserver, and another vessel nearby assisted by retrieving the victim from the water.
The Power Boat Racing Association (PBRA) is in mourning, but nonetheless this a great sport, accidents are part of the sport and nevertheless it's loved by many. (Motor Racing has similar issues.)
There are plenty of classes to cater for nearly any waterbourne craft. Ranging from the 6hp Outboards of the Junior classes, all the way up to the supercharged big block V8s of the Blown Alcohol Displacements & GP Hydroplanes, boat racing in Australia has it covered.
The PBRA recognise that it is these boats that are probably the easiest to relate to for the public. Displacements are, from a distance, the closest resemblance to your average water ski boat. With the engine mounted "inboard", usually at the rear of the boat. The term "displacement" is derived from the the action of the boat "displacing" (pushing the water out of the way) the water as it moves through the water.
Hydroplanes could be described as the "open wheelers' of boat racing, the Outboards are loosely based on outboard ski boats, the Drag Boats known as the "Fastest Show on Water" are specifically built and tuned to run in a straight line, Off Shore boats race out in the open ocean on very large courses and the Juniors, as a family sport, while Mum or Dad get to race in a V8 powered circuit race boat, the kids can also join in and race in the junior class with lower powered outboards.
Sydney Baptist minister Brian Codrington, although almost spelt the same, is no relation to Neil Coddington who was killed in the power boat accident.
Meanwhile it was this writer's very great pleasure to have appointed the very first Boating Chaplain in the mid 80's at Lake Eildon in Victoria whose ministry extended to all forms of competition.