Ge­off ‘Jake’ Smythe 1926 – 2018

Old Bike Australasia - - UNDER THE CHEQUERED FLAG - Ken Young

JAKE SMYTHE learnt his trade as a Me­chanic do­ing the last three years of WWII as an RAAF fighter me­chanic be­fore re­turn­ing to Tas­ma­nia to join Jack­son Ford (Launce­s­ton) as a me­chanic. He de­vel­oped an in­ter­est in mo­tor­cy­cle rac­ing with his first ma­jor suc­cess com­ing at Greens Beach in 1948 fol­lowed by great re­sults at Val­ley­field and Tun­bridge in 1949, all on a 1948 B34 500 BSA. He was backed by lo­cal dis­trib­u­tor Sim King who in turn used him reg­u­larly in ma­jor ads in the Launce­s­ton Ex­am­iner. In 1950 he was nom­i­nated as Tas­ma­nia’s youngest State rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the Aus­tralian TT in Bun­bury WA over Easter. For this Trevor Jowett loaned him an AJS 7R 350 to com­pete in both the Ju­nior and Se­nior races. The Ju­nior race was won by Mau­rie Quincey (Vic) from Ge­orge Scott (WA) with Jake able to beat Lloyd Chap­man for third in a spir­ited bat­tle. He re­turned to the State to con­tinue rac­ing the 7R AJS and by sea­son’s end was the all-round Ex­pert Club Cham­pion. For a num­ber of years, he worked hard for the Club as a com­mit­tee man as well as rid­ing 250 and 350 AJSs with a great deal of suc­cess. Jake de­vel­oped an in­ter­est in boats and for a while worked in a marine shop be­fore join­ing the large Lloyd Camp­bell group in their Marine and Honda Mo­tor Cy­cle shop.

RIGHT Jake Smythe at one of the club’s tough Tri­als that usu­ally ended with an ob­served sec­tion.

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