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Reproduced courtesy of Graeme Andrews

Jet boat pilot plans world speed attempt

Date: 18 November 1977
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Graeme Andrews
Object Copyright: © Graeme Andrews
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Newspaper clippings
Object No: ANMS1163[372]

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    Description
    An article from the Sydney Morning Herald by Adrian Herbert written on the eve of Ken Warby's attempt at breaking Lee Taylor's world water speed. Titled 'Jet boat pilot plans world speed attempt - Meeting with fame or fate a day you will remember', the article tells of the journey of Ken Warby to Blowering Dam and the risks he was facing and the obstacles he had overcame.
    SignificanceKen Warby, SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA's designer, builder and driver, achieved his world water-speed records on a shoestring budget. The boat was built over two years in the backyard of his suburban Sydney home, using stringers, brackets, stock bits of timber, plywood, screws and epoxy, and launched in 1974.
    HistoryWarby first claimed the world record in 1977, taking his home-made hydroplane to a speed of 464.44 km/h and breaking American Lee Taylor's ten-year-old record of 458.98 km/h. But where Lee Taylor's record had cost close to $1 million in 1967, Warby built his boat in a suburban backyard with a military-surplus jet engine that cost $65. In 1978 he returned to Blowering Dam in the southern highlands of New South Wales and pushed his record to 511.11 km/h (317.68 m/h), where it still stands.

    Warby was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) in recognition of his achievement. More information about SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA's construction, configuration and condition can be found on the Australian Register of Historic Vessels www.anmm.gov.au/arhv.

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