In 1967 Jon Jarvie achieved 117mph (188km/hr) on Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes district in New Zealand’s south-island. Jon was just 20 when he joined this exclusive club in a boat his father Ian Jarvie had built – ‘Elray III’ a racing hydroplane.
Jon Jarvie getting ready to drive “Elray III” at the NZ Antique and Classic Boat show March 2020
The boat was built at the Jarvie’s home in Papakura, as were Elray I & II. Jon was a qualified fitter & turner and did a lot of the metal work on them. This was the age before electric screw drivers so ‘turner’ was an apt description when you think the whole craft was held together with glue and screws – thousands of them, Jon says!
Jon with his Gold Badge
certificate received for crossing
the elusive 100mph threshold
Elray III has been lovingly and immaculately restored and was on show at the New Zealand Antique & Classic Boat Show in early March 2020 at Lake Rotoiti. Jon was on hand to put it through it’s paces again. Jon says he was hugely impressed by the restoration “She looked like she did the day she was first launched. It certainly brought the memories flooding back.”
Jon spent his career in and around diesel engines and boating. Early in the piece with Lees Industries then with Cummins and lastly with Pacific Driveline Ltd until his retirement.
Well done Jon! Great to see you still fit, flourishing and fast!