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HomeNewsRipping Yarns: Aisle surfing on F1 flights

Ripping Yarns: Aisle surfing on F1 flights

V8 SLEUTH is celebrating the festive season with a series of great racing tales from the Motorsport News archives.

Today’s story was told by Tim Edwards for the 400th edition of MN in 2010.

Some of the best stories from my Formula 1 days with Jordan involve Paul Stoddart.

Stoddy used to sponsor us and for quite a while, we used to fly to and from races on his planes. As his business got bigger, so did the planes…

It was a lot of fun. One of the most popular pursuits was aisle surfing, which involved having one laminated safety card on each foot and one on your backside.

You would sit down in the aisle, in a conga line, and wait for takeoff. As the plane’s nose left the ground, the fun started.

You would rocket down the aisle the length of the plane and, when the plane was really climbing, you could get up a pretty good speed.
Two occasions of this were really memorable.

The first was after we won the Magny Cours GP in 1999 and Murray Walker decided to join in the antics.

He shot down the aisle as we took off shouting ‘Go! Go! Go!’. Not a bad effort considering he’d just had his hip replaced!

The second was when Stoddy had his 747s. On one trip back from Japan we decided to upgrade the sport from sitting to standing to make it proper surfing!

With two aisles on the larger plane we set up two groups of five and Stoddy was P1 in one of the lines.

One of Stoddart’s Ozjet planes pictured in 2005. Pic: an1images.com / Justin Deeley

With four passenger areas on a 747 we also had an aisle three times the length we’d been used to, so you can image the speed that they got up to!

But the problem was, by the time the conga line made it to the last cabin, it was going pretty fast – and there was a bend in the aisle as the rear economy cabin was a slightly different layout.

The conga line didn’t make it through the chicane, and Stoddy took off over the seats and landed somewhere near the dunny at the back of the plane!

There were plenty of other stories but, what happens on a 747 stays on a 747…

PODCAST: Celebrating a Tickford Racing milestone (2021)

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