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Reproduced courtesy of Graeme Andrews

Aussie's record

Date: 21 November 1977
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Graeme Andrews
Object Copyright: © Graeme Andrews
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Newspaper clipping
Object No: ANMS1163[376]

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    Description
    A newspaper clipping from The Sun, heralding Ken Warby's achievement in breaking the world water speed record. Titled 'Aussie's Record Exclusive Photo - Australian Ken Warby yesterday thundered to a world water speed record of 464 kmh'. The article, accompanied by a photograph of SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA at speed, tells of Ken Warby's long struggle to grab the record and how his financial struggles did not dampen his determination.
    SignificanceAlthough Warby would have preferred it otherwise, the lack of financial support in the years before he set his world speed record become part of the amazing story surrounding SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA.
    HistoryKen Warby was self-funded for the first years of the development of SPIRIT OFAUSTRALIA. It was a financial strain and as the boat progressed so too did the financial pressure. Due to the nature of the project and before Warby had set any new records, sponsors were hard to find. Shell Oil was an early and lone supporter and provided jet fuel and oil. But in 1976 a private donor in the sailing field donated $7000 to Warby and a small department story, Fosseys, came on board with a sponsorship deal which involved personal appearances and accommodation costs.
    Warby, still carrying the heavy financial load, was frustrated that sponsorship opportunities were being ignored by Australian businesses.
    The government and public indifference was also a point of contention and it was only after Warby broke the world water speed record that people started to take notice. The Australian swimwear maker 'Speedo' became the primary sponsor and the RAAF an official supporter. But Warby still could never reconcile with the lack of encouragement he found in Australia. Even in early 1978 the wider population and media seemed apathetic to his achievement. It would not be until Warby had risked his life again to break the 300 mph record that he began to receive the recognition he deserved.

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