Jeff Downes and Luke Downes are a Father & Son team on The Amazing Race Australia 1.

Despite being 60, Jeff proved to be an adept physical racer, if not a mental one. They would take advantage of the physical nature of the race to make the Final 3, where they went into the jail cell task even with Tyler & Nathan, only to have trouble with both their keys and their choice of doors, dropping them to 3rd.


They've endured a rocky relationship, so can father and son duo Jeff and Luke depend on each other now?

With four children and three grandchildren, 60-year-old Jeff is the oldest competitor on the race, but don't expect him to be a pushover. "We're quite physical," he says. "Even though there's a 28 year age difference I won't be deferring everything physical to him." Luke, 32, agreed to his dad's suggestion to join the race because he saw it as a great opportunity to spend more time together. "My family are important to me but we aren't as close as we used to be," says Luke. Luke's parents split up when he was 15 and father and son lost contact for many years afterwards. "The typical father-son relationship ended at that point. I was angry. He wasn't there for me when I needed him," says Luke. Jeff adds: "There were certainly a lot of trust issues. We had a rocky few years in terms of relating, and not really relating at all. I made a lot of mistakes and I really want to make it up to him." It's only in recent years that Jeff and Luke have begun to repair their relationship. "Now we have a situation where you've got two people who've actively chosen to have a relationship," says Luke. "But as for the level of trust required on this race – our relationship has never gone to that level before." Luke is the middle of three kids for Jeff, who also has a 6-year-old stepson with partner Katherine. Luke himself is a dad to six-year-old Tyler - his proudest achievement. Jeff has lived and worked overseas in corporate consulting in Singapore, Greece, India and Thailand. Luke grew up in Melbourne and now runs his own landscaping business on the Gold Coast. Will problems arise with their very different approaches to the race? "I don't just dive into things. I'm quite calculated and precise about how I do things," says Luke. But Jeff admits his outlook is the opposite. "My style is probably a bit more excitable. I'm a doer so I'm learning while I'm doing," he says.

Since the Amazing Race, Jeff Downes has established himself as a speaker, facilitator and corporate consultant.

The Amazing Race Australia 1

Race History

Jeff & Luke's Race History
Episode Leg Destination(s) Detour Choice
Placement Notes
1 1 Australia → Indonesia Cash / Carry Jeff 4 of 11
2 2 Indonesia → Vietnam Carry Fowl / Carabao Luke 4 of 11
3 3 Vietnam → Hong Kong → Macau Lion Dance / Kung Fu Stance Luke 6 of 10
4 4 Macau → South Africa Smash / Bash Jeff 4 of 9
5 5 South Africa Guns / Rosé Jeff 3 of 8
6 6 South Africa → The Netherlands → Czech Republic Chivalry / Delivery Luke 3 of 7
7 7 Czech Republic Stack Up / Stack In Luke 3 of 6
8 8 Czech Republic → Poland Herd / Hoe Down Luke 1 of 6
9 9 Poland → Israel Find Unseen / Make 13 Jeff 2 of 5
10 10 Israel Pilgrim's Trail / Holy Grail Jeff 2 of 4
11 11 Israel → Sri Lanka Count / Carry Jeff 3 of 4 [1]
12 12 Sri Lanka → Singapore → Australia Dare / Stair Luke 3 of 3
Average 3.17
     The team finished in first place
     The team finished in last place and was eliminated from the race
     The team finished in last place in a non-elimination leg
     The team that won The Amazing Race
     The team that crossed the Finish Line second
     The team that crossed the Finish Line third
The team used the Fast Forward pass
ϵ The team used the Express Pass somewhere during the leg
The team used the U-Turn
Recipient of the U-Turn

1: Jeff & Luke bought 2nd class tickets on the train to Galle, when the clue instructed them to purchase 3rd class tickets. For this, they incurred a 10 minute penalty upon leaving Galle Station.


Franchise Records

  • First father/son team to make the final three.
  • Oldest age average of a team to finish the race in 3rd place, 46.

External links


  • Geoff Shearer at The Courier-Mail (07/11/2011): "Amazing effect of race on family ties"

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