He lives just 40 minutes from Ballarat, he’s a world champion and he drives a boat at up to 270km/h — speeds where the slightest wrong move can mean the difference between life and death.
But this might be the first time you’ve heard Grant Harrison’s name.
That might change next month when he takes on the fastest people on water for the right to hold aloft the 100th EC Griffith Cup.
The E.C Griffith Cup — a pure silver $100,000 trophy — is given to the winning team of annual trans-tasman Grand Prix Hydroplane championships.
Mr Harrison, from Coimadai, has won three Griffith cups and won in New Zealand last year. This earnt him the right to host the next event in his home country.
Even better for Mr Harrison and Bacchus Marsh-based racer Tom Heffernan, next month’s race will be held on Pykes Creek Reservoir near Ballan.
As the name suggests, Grand Prix Hydroplanes are the elite craft of power boat racing and are the fastest automotive circuit race boats in the world. Mr Harrison said a crowd of thousands was expected to pack Pykes Creek on April 26, 27 and 28 for the Griffith Cup.
“We brought this trophy back from New Zealand last year, so now it’s the New Zealand teams who have to come here and try to take it back,” he said.
“We want to try and make this venue an annual event - kind of like Bathurst is (for V8 supercars).