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Reproduced courtesy of Graeme Andrews

SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA takes the world water speed record

Date: 1977
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Graeme Andrews
Object Copyright: © Graeme Andrews
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Manuscript
Object No: ANMS1163[369]

User Terms

    A typed article written by Graeme Andrews titled 'SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA' takes the World Water Speed Record - Graeme Andres goes into the background of the "Shoestring record breaker", the man who designed, built, financed and drove the world's fastest boat.'
    Andrews was the assistant editor of Australian Seaboat magazine and had become a close friend and supporter of Ken Warby and his journey in SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA.
    SignificanceKen Warby's dream to become the fastest person on water was years in the making. There were many doubters along the way but Graeme Andrews who wrote about Warby and donated much of his research to the Australian National Maritime Museum, believed early on that Warby would indeed build SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA and make the challenge.
    HistoryGraeme Andrews had met Ken Warby before the dream of SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA had really started. They remained friends throughout Warby's long journey to Blowering Dam and Andrews, conflicted at times with Warby's zeal, wrote about the lead up to 20 November 1977 when Warby broke the world water speed record and proved the legion of doubters wrong.

    "One winters evening in 1969 I sat in a suburban Sydney living room with a second-rank speedboat driver, Ken Warby and listened as he told me how he would become the Fastest Man on Water.
    I was sceptical. Sure, I knew he was virtually fearless; that he could handle an inboard timber skiff in any kind of water - but to become the Fastest Man ion Water?
    At the time I was the assistant editor of Australian Seacraft, the oldest boating magazine in Australia, and my particular involvement was powerboating - in an awkward sort of way, Ken Warby's Project 300 - the attempt on Lee Taylor's record - was powerboating.
    Probably, if salesman Ken had known the sort of problems and the outright ridicule his plans would bring, he would not have gone on with it. I was worried. IF I hammered his plans good and loud and nothing came of them; I'd be a fool. If I hammered them loudly and Ken Warby died trying, I'd have to live with it. If I did not bother with him - a long-time friend - I'd let him down, and I may well let the magazine down...
    Early in 1970 the hull of the boat was in frame and local friends were called to tip it over. As one of that team of muscle I was amazed at the detail of the joinery - at the strength of the construction. I’d never seen a timber boat like it but kept thinking of Donald Campbell, John Cobb and of the troubles experienced by Lee Taylor I wondered if I wasn't helping a mate to his end. "
    [Graeme Andrews, 1977].

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