Neil Gregg: International power boat racer and south Norfolk businessman

International power boat racer Neil Gregg, who built up a haulage and later a property business, has died suddenly aged 68 at his south Norfolk home.

Competing at the highest level in Grand Prix Formula One, he even survived a collision at 100mph and still managed to finish, despite injury and damage to his craft.

In June 1974, he suffered burns in the first race of the Embassy International Grand Prix at Bristol Docks when leaking petrol burned his back. And when the deck of his 17ft catamaran blew off after completing three laps, he had to jump overboard.

His enthusiasm undiminished for a high-risk sport, he returned to Bristol again in 1976 at the helm of a V6 craft designed for endurance over two days of racing and capable of speeds of more than 100mph. After just half an hour's practice, he went on to finish second against top opposition as Bob Spalding took the flag.

Over the three kilometre course, he completed more than 100 miles at an average speed of more than 80mph. He also competed at an international level in races at Rotterdam and Paris as well as locally as Oulton Broad.

You may also want to watch:

Neil Russell Gregg was born in Halesworth on June 6, 1943, and was the only son of Winifred and George Gregg. He went to Bungay Grammar School and in September 1963 married Ann, who was a Beccles girl.

Having moved from Bungay, the family lived in Station Road, Ditchingham and he started dealing in cars. He took up racing with Lowestoft and Oulton Broad Power Boat Club, where he could be seen competing during the summer months.

Most Read

He was a well-known character on the racing circuit, who was a joker by nature. And quite why BBC TV's Murray Walker, who was an official F1 race commentator, once described him as 'the well-known Bungay lion tamer' is another colourful incident.

After retiring from racing in the late 1980s, he went into property development and refurbishment building up a significant property portfolio living latterly at Kirby Cane. He leaves two daughters, Michelle and Paula, and four grandsons.

A funeral has been held at Holy Trinity Church, Bungay.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter