Many of us who have been around the Australian Sailfish for a while know a bit about Jack Carroll’s involvement with designing the boat and the development of the class. But not all of us know that Jack was just one half of the team that brought our great little boat into being. The other half was Jack’s very good mate Bruce Scott.
When Chris Cleary and I sat down with Jack in September of 2016 to gather some of the class history that led to this website, Jack said that it was Bruce who turned up one day with some American sailing magazines that showed the Alcort Sailfish saying “this is what we need Jack, something like this”. From that discussion came the Australian Sailfish.
Peter Scott, Bruce Scott’s son, has supplied a bit of background about his dad, so here it is, with only minor editorial meddling from me:
I’ll note down a few thoughts that come to mind about dad:
I do recall dad describing his early days of sailing when he lived in Glenhuntly and towed his boat with his push bike from there to Elwood sailing club via North road and often having passersby help push his boat up the hill near Brighton Cemetery. Trip one way is around 7 km – quite the ride.
He accomplished so much in his life and whatever his interest changed to over the years he always took them to their limits. All of which always included all of the family.
His interest in sailing was always with improving designs and his craft as a signwriter had him doing the names on most of the yachts at whichever yacht club he was sailing from. Each one done with such detail and pride in his work.
His artwork also extended to detailing various models that are still within the Melbourne Museum. Donald Campbell’s Bluebird and a hot air balloon that had him painting with one hair on the brush to get the details are still there.
He also had a fascination with travelling around Australia, which took him away from sailing.
Filming and retracing the early explorers across Australia was his focus for many years. Little things like having the 4×4 customized to utilize any spare space to carry supplies, designing a bull bar made of car leaf springs to bounce any stray kangaroos off the front of the vehicle if needed.
There were also the modifications he did to our home to accommodate another interest – movies. In the early 70’s he knocked out walls and closed in the front veranda to build a home theatre complete with 30 real leather theatre seats salvaged from a theatre that had closed down. I recall having movie nights 3 to 4 nights a week where friends and their associated social groups would book a night. He actually managed to get movies before they came out in the city theatres!
Then came the years of self-sufficiency – moving to a country property in Neerim South mum and dad seemed to lead the way in the alternate lifestyle, conducting pottery days, shearing days, log cabin building days, wool spinning days and so on.
Bruce also ran the very first Australian Sailfish National Titles held at Elwood in 1968/69 acting as Officer of the Day for the entire series and Jack still has Bruce’s detailed committee notes for that event.