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Latest News  >  Jet Sprint Profile

Name: Dean Finch (Finchy)
Location: Curlwaa, New South Wales, Australia
Real Job: Horticulturalist (Orange Farmer)
Competing: 8 years
Class: Super Boat
Boat: "Loose Cannon"
1500hp (estimated)
475 cu inch Chev, twin turbo, MoTeC injected, Scott 9.5 inch jet

When you look at the specifications of Dean's boat, you realize he loves pushing the envelope; twin turbos, the big 9.5 inch jet, quirky artwork, etc. Dig a little deeper into how he handles the power, thrust and G forces that come with this combination, and you begin to realize his commitment to the sport, and his level of understanding of how boats perform.

At the Jet Sprint World Champs in Melton in November, Dean and his navigator daughter Demi had real problems with G forces and getting enough oxygen into their lungs (in a standard jet sprint boat drivers can "pull" 6 G's. Loose Cannon with a lot more horsepower and up to 40% more water coming out of the jet pulls a few more G's!). Down to the last three race-off, and pushing the boat faster than any other lap, the high G forces and interrupted oxygen flow were major contributors to a spectacular crash, and an end to their world title bid (since that crash Dean and Demi have run oxygen in their helmets!). They also run two pounds of vaccum on the grill - to handle the high speed cornering and to be able to use the most amount of throttle throughout the track.

So how does an orange farmer from a town of 400 people in far south west New South Wales get to be racing the world's fastest super boat in the last three of the world champs?

About 1995 a friend Peter Freckleton invited Dean to go "yabbing" (catching freshwater lobster) and neglected to tell Dean that he was also going to be the navigator in his jet sprint boat in Manilla. Dean already had a lot of experience in ski boat and punt racing, and from that moment he was "hooked".

He bought a Sleekline boat and raced it with a 350hp engine, winning his first four races, and quickly installed a Group A engine, and got progressively better.

A couple of boats later he bought a Stinger with a Scott 8.25 inch sprint unit. He came second in his first event but also "tipped it a few times". As he got used to the boat, engine and jet combination he won 13 races in a row, setting track records at every track - and then sold the boat. This was his first Scott jet and he says "the Scott was substantially better, you could back off a few revs and still corner without losing speed. Also it meant you could be much more on and off the throttle which the Doen couldn't do".

Dean attributes a lot of his success to his lengthy experience with boats - his parents built houseboats and he grew up around boats, and one of his first jobs was teaching people how to drive boats. This experience means he intuitively understands how a boat will perform, and how subtle variations in hull, engine setting, impeller pitch etc will combine to make a boat perform. He is comfortable designing his own hull, engine, jet package.

Another big plus to jet sprinting is the involvement of family and friends; daughter Demi as Navigator, son Tyler doing engine management and MoTeC data logging analysis, dad John making sure the boat gets in the water, mum Franca chief of catering and good friend Serge handling refueling and everything else. He singled out Darryn of Farr Faster Race Engineering - who has been his engine builder - as being a great supporter of the team.

Dean believes jet sprinting in Australia is "doing brilliantly" and will continue to go from strength to strength - with crowds and TV ratings growing every year, and the sport becoming increasingly professional. "This years Super Boat class, with several Group A drivers building Super Boats is shaping up to be the most competitive and exciting ever."

Scott Waterjet has supplied customized sprint jets to Dean since 2003 and is proud to have our jets on the back of his boats. With his understanding of how hulls, engines and jets combine we thought he was a great person to be a launch customer for the 9.5 inch sprint jet.

Konrad Scott and Dean have a good rapport talking through the finer details of racing, and Dean trusts Konrad to deliver impellers and other components that will "do exactly what they are supposed to". He added that "having a jet supplier who understand the nuances of engines and hulls and is happy to help nut out issues is a real help".

This year we look forward to following Dean's progress in Super Boats and hope he can get his engine fixed by round 3 - in the first meeting this year he broke a conrod.

Follow these You Tube links to watch Dean and Demi in action in Loose Cannon;

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