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Reproduced courtesy of Graeme Andrews

A floating matchstick could spell disaster for Ken !

Date: 16 January 1975
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Graeme Andrews
Object Copyright: © Graeme Andrews
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Newspaper clippings
Object No: ANMS1163[373]

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    Description
    A newspaper clipping from the Daily Telegraph of Thursday, January 16, 1975, headed 'A floating matchstick could spell disaster for Ken !' written by Norm Lipson.
    Lipson discusses the world water speed record attempt for the middle of the year by Ken Warby and focuses on the impending dangers in addition to details of previous attempts.

    A smaller cutting attached outlines the anxiety of Dr Lawry Doctors of the University of New South Wales who was in charge of the wind tunnel testing. The article ends with the quote by Doctors: "At really high speed, without major changes, he is likely to kill himself."
    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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